• Almond and Fig

Updated: Jun 19, 2020


Mezze is often served in small plates that could be passed around just like tapas.

Mezze or appetizers in my opinion best expresses the spirit of the Arab hospitality. Guests in an Arab home are never asked if they would like something to eat. Food is Always offered and in abundance. Mezze dining is an experience, a true social event. The mezze dishes are often served in small plates and range from warm to cold salads, olives, pastries, cheese, bread, dips, veggies and meats.

The beauty of mezze dishes are in its versatility. Lots of vegetarian and meat options. There is defiantly something for everyone.

To build the perfect mezze platter or small plates you would need:

  1. Something warm: like meat skewers, or bite size meat morsels, spicy potatoes or even fries.

  2. Cold dishes like a fatoush salad, tabouli, beet and tahini salad etc.

  3. Bread and savory pastries such as meat pies (sfeeha) or a spinach vegetarian version. Cheese pull apart bread.. etc

  4. Raw or roasted vegetables. An assortment of cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, peppers.. etc or roasted aubergines with sumac and roasted cauliflower with tahini.

  5. Olives and pickles check out this warm mixed olive dish that’s loaded with flavors from the fennel seeds, orange and lemon and some herbs like fresh thyme and bay leaves.

  6. Beans: as in hummus, balilah, stewed fava beans. Check out my recipe for the creamiest hummus ever.

  7. Dips: mezze platters are nothing without dips. Such as Muhammara a roasted eggplant & walnuts dip, hummus and baba ghanouj. Check out my grandmothers recipe smoked tomatoes baba ghanouj

  8. Meat: small bite size pieces of lamb or beef. Shish tawook chicken, meatballs such kaftah...

Mezze plates are always garnished so beautifully. It’s a feast for eyes as much as it is for your taste buds. The hummus is always swirled, drizzled with the best olive oil. lots of garnishes such as mint, parsley, lemon wedges and Pomegranate jewels.

The Beauty of mezze is in its versatility each dish can be made as a side dish to a main meal. And mezze would leave you with lots of great leftovers that are perfect for sandwiches, salads so it’s def worth the effort to pull it together:

I know it’s sounds daunting to make all these things but you don’t have to It’s great to combine things that are store bought and things that you could make or easily assembled like olives, pickles, cheese etc.

Hope you love mezze dining as much as we do. If we inspired you to make a mezze platter please tag us #almondandfig


  • Almond and Fig

Updated: Jun 19, 2020


Mezze is often served in small plates that could be passed around just like tapas. Mezze or appetizers in my opinion best expresses the spirit of the Arab hospitality. Guests in an Arab home are never asked if they would like something to eat. Food is Always offered and in abundance. Mezze dining is an experience, a true social event. The mezze dishes are often served in small plates and range from warm to cold salads, olives, pastries, cheese, bread, dips, veggies and meats. I am serving mezze in a new way today just on one platter this is perfect for a smaller party or you can assemble a few for a larger one. i often make this platter for the weekend. Both my kids and my guests get a thrill over the variety of options.

The beauty of mezze dishes are in its versatility. Lots of vegetarian and meat options. There is defiantly something for everyone.

To build the perfect mezze platter or small plates you would need:

  1. Something warm: like meat skewers, or bite size meat morsels, spicy potatoes or falafel.

  1. Cold dishes like a fatoush salad, tabouli, beet and tahini salad etc.

  2. Bread and savory pastries such as meat pies (sfeeha) or a spinach vegetarian version. Cheese pull apart bread.. etc

  3. Raw or roasted vegetables. An assortment of cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, peppers.. etc or roasted aubergines with sumac and roasted cauliflower with tahini.

  4. Olives and pickles check out this warm mixed olive dish that’s loaded with flavors from the fennel seeds, garlic, orange and lemon and some herbs like fresh thyme and bay leaves. Baked for 30 minutes at 350 and served warm.

  1. Beans: as in hummus, balilah, stewed fava beans. Check out my recipe for the creamiest hummus ever.

  1. Dips: mezze platters are nothing without dips. Such as Muhammara a roasted eggplant & walnuts dip, hummus and baba ghanouj. Check out my grandmothers recipe of smoked tomatoes baba ghanouj

  1. Meat: small bite size pieces of lamb or beef. Shish tawook chicken, meatballs such kaftah...

  2. Store bought items: such as cheeses, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, labneh or make your own labneh balls by straining the labneh overnight.

Mezze plates are always garnished so beautifully. It’s a feast for your eyes as much as it is for your taste buds. The hummus is always swirled, drizzled with the best olive oil. lots of garnishes such as mint, parsley, lemon wedges and Pomegranate jewels.

The Beauty of mezze is in its versatility each dish can be made as a side dish to a main meal or a few dishes will make up a main meal. Mezze plates would leave you with lots of great leftovers that are perfect for sandwiches, salads so it’s def worth the effort to pull it all together. I know it’s sounds daunting to make all these things but you don’t have to. It’s great to combine things that are store bought and things that you could make or easily assemble together like olives, pickles, cheese etc.

Hope you love mezze dining as much as we do. If we inspired you to make a mezze platter please tag us #almondandfig would love to see your creations.

#mezze #vegtables #hummus #legumes #vegan #vegetarian #dip #vegetables #savory #fundining

  • Almond and Fig

Updated: Jun 19, 2020


This is my grandmother's smoked tomato Baba Ghanouj. This is similar to the traditional Baba Ghanouj but instead of tahini you add tomatoes. The smoked creamy Aubergines, the sweet summer tomatoes and a nice zesty kick from the fresh garlic and jalapeños makes this dip addictive. It's often served part of a mezze platter or spread or as a dip accompanying grilled meats with lots of charred pita bread. Its also great as a dip with vegetables, and crackers and also delicious on top of a crostini. But as for my grandmother she enjoyed it as a salad with a hunk of bread, radishes, cucumbers and olives for lunch on hot summer days.

Ingredients:

4 vine ripe tomatoes

2 large eggplants

3 cloves of garlic minced

1-2 jalapeño (optional)

Juice of one lemon (plus more to taste)

1 fresh tomato diced for garnish

3 tbls chopped parsley

3 tbls chopped fresh mint

Salt, pepper and 4 tbls olive oil

Directions:

Oven method:

Preheat the oven to 400 brush the tomatoes, jalapeno's & eggplants with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pierce the eggplant with a knife in a few spots so it doesn't burst in the oven. Roast for About 20-30 minutes until they are charred on the outside and the eggplant is creamy on the inside. To know of the eggplants are done press on the skin of its soft its done. Or pierce it with a knife if its goes through its also done.

Gas stove top or grill method (open flames):

This method will yield to a smokier flavor. Place the tomatoes, eggplants and jalapenos straight on the open flames until charred and skin blisters on all sides rotating your vegtables often. This process could take 5-10 minutes. The longer you char the vegetables the smokier they taste.

* A helpful tip: if you are using your gas stove top line it with Aluminum foil cutting an opening where your stovetop flame is. This will catch any drips from the vegetables and makes clean up easier. I also have seen stove top aluminum liners at kitchenware stores feel free to use those as well.

No matter what method you decide to use, let your veggies rest and cool. You can place them in a bowl covered with cling wrap. This will allow the skin to sweat and therefore it will be removed easily.

After the vegetables have cooled, the skin should come off pretty easy. On your chopping board place the eggplants, roasted tomatoes, and jalapeños. Using your knife chop the vegetables you can leave them as smooth or as chunky as you wish. Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and 2 tbls of olive oil, add half the herbs gently mix all ingredients together.

Garnish with the fresh tomatoes, the rest of the herbs and a good drizzle of olive oil.

This dip is perfect served part of a mezze platter, with grilled meats, as a dip with pita bread and cut up veggies or simply on top of a crostini.

Keeps refrigerated for up to 3-5 days

#dip #vegan #vegetarian #vegtables #glutenfree #grainfree #mezze

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