Mezze Plates for a hot night

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by: Pat Man Kitchen






I’ve noticed that when I serve an array of simple appetizers in the summer there isn’t much interest in dinner afterward. So why not just turn them into dinner? More than once I’ve put together a mezze spread at a moment’s notice, which is how I know that it's easy to do, then watched it disappear over the course of the evening. These particular bites—ideas to work from, really—come from the garden, the pantry, leftovers, and a few very simple recipes. Mix and match your offerings, set them in pretty bowls and arrange them on a table, and serve them with one or more of the good breads we now enjoy in this country, the Golden Grilled or Sauteed Cheese, or an interesting farmstead cheese or two. With so many different flavors and dishes, but all of them geared to summer, I’d use this opportunity to open two or three different roses--from Sicily, Provence, and California.




ingredients

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serves: 5-10

FROM THE GARDEN:

clusters of currant, cherry, and other “fruit” tomatoes

little carrots (scrubbed, with their greens attached)

tender, crisp radishes (with their leaves, or big Misato rose types, thinly sliced and soaked in ice water until curled, then served with salt and fresh lime juice)

summer turnips (thinly sliced, with sea salt)

bulb fennel (soaked in cold water, then quartered)

lemon cucumbers (cut into wedges)

very fresh, new sugar snap peas

melon with freshly cracked pepper

FROM THE PANTRY AND THE FRIDGE:

olives (seasoned with fresh or dried herbs and a bit of orange or lemon zest)

roasted peppers (drizzled with olive oil)

cubes of feta or Manouri cheese (a dense, melt-in-your-mouth Greek cheese similar to ricotta salata, with fresh mint leaves, olive oil, and pepper)

roasted almonds or pecans

an American chevre, such as Humboldt Fog, or a chevre Camembert

baked ricotta with thyme

Pickled Onions or other pickled vegetables

green beans or lentils (in an herb vinaigrette)

SOME GOOD LEFTOVERS:

Ratatouille (serve chilled, with capers and lemons)

Braised Fennel (served chilled or at room temperature)

Grilled vegetables (with a wedge of lemon, vinegar, or a salsa verde)

TWO SAUCES TO USE FOR DIPS OR SPREADS:

Romesco Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

FIVE EASY RECIPES:

Feta and Ricotta Cheese Skillet Pie (garnished with roasted peppers)

Onion Frittata

Golden Grilled or Sautéed Cheese

Spinach Frittata

Chard and Onion Torta

Nutrition Facts
Mezze Plates for a hot night

Servings Per Recipe: 5

Amount per Serving

Calories: 0

  • Total Fat: 0 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 0 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Total Carbs: 0 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  •     Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
VIEW DETAILED NUTRITION

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preparation

1.  Two New Recipes:

2.  A) Roasted Eggplant with yogurt:

3.  Slash 1 or 2 medium eggplants in several places, fill the gaps with sliced peeled garlic, then bake in a 375°F oven, or at whatever temperature is convenient, until softened, usually about 40 minutes for a 1-pound eggplant. Put in a colander to drain and cool, then scoop out the flesh and mix it with a little yogurt to taste, some minced garlic, chopped mint leaves, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Put it in a dish and garnish with mint.

4.  B) Cold Broccoli Rabe with lemon:

5.  Bring a wide pot of water to a boil. While it’s heating, peel the thick stems of the broccoli rabe, then rinse. Salt the water, plunge in the broccoli rabe, and cook until the stems are tender, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how well done you like your greens. Transfer to a colander and set aside to drain. Put on a platter, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with lemon wedges.

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