March 26th, 2012 § 0 comments

HG (or was it some Frenchman?) has often said that a meal without an appetizer (or “starter” as the English characterize it) is like intercourse without foreplay. Pardon the naughty allusion. Anyway, HG’s favorite appetizer is a few oysters and bulots (sea snails) washed down with chilled Muscadet. However, when dining at home it is much more easy to procure and prepare a Middle Eastern array of excellent nibbles collectively called Mezze. Mezze is a staple in restaurants in Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Iraq. etc. Yes, these folks set a nice table when they’re not busy going bankrupt or blowing each other up. Mezze is simple, just an array of tasty small plates. This was the Mezze HG and gifted granddaughter AR faced last night: Kalamata olives, Greek pickled peppers, “gigante” lima beans in vinaigrette, sliced kumato tomatoes, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese and a luscious baba ganoush. A word about the baba ganoush: Usually, HG makes this from scratch but Alwadi canned baba ganoush is a very good substitute. Nice natural ingredients. AR, who recently visited Istanbul, made HG envious as she described the lavish hot and cold Mezze at even the most modest Istanbul eateries. Must visit that magical city.

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