Author(s): Ghillie Basan
Mezze features a mouth-watering collection of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dips, bites, salads and other small plates to share, to enjoy as appetisers or light meals. An ancient tradition, mezze is the heart and soul of modern culinary life in Turkey and Eastern Mediterranean countries. The word `mezze' (`meze') in Turkey and `mazza' in Syria and Lebanon) is thought to have derived from the Persian `maza' meaning `taste' or `relish' which is exactly what is - something tasty - designed to be savoured with a glass of tea, wine or beer, a fruit sherbet, or a yogurt drink with the aim of pleasing the palate, not to fill the belly. At its simplest, mezze can be represented by a bowl of gleaming olives marinated in lemon juice and crushed coriander seeds, or a mixture of roasted nuts and seeds tossed in salt and dried thyme. At its most elaborate, it can be presented as an entire feast comprising a myriad of little colourful dishes, each the bearer of something savoury or sweet but always utterly delicious. In this reformatted gift edition, you'll discover such exciting recipes as Orange and Date Salad with Chillies and Preserved Lemon; Vine Leaves stuffed with Aromatic Rice; Hot Hummus with Pine Nuts and Chilli Butter; Savoury Pastries filled with Feta and Herbs; Baby Saffron Squid stuffed with Bulgur and Zahtar; and Stuffed Dates in Clementine Syrup - nothing beats the magic of mezze.
Ghillie Basan has worked all over the world as a cookery writer, journalist and restaurant critic. She is Cordon Bleu trained and has written a number of highly acclaimed books, including the bestselling Flavours of Morocco and Tagines & Couscous for Ryland Peters & Small. She lives in the Scottish highlands, where she runs popular cookery workshops.