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 appetizers or light meals. An ancient tradition, mezze is the heart and soul of modern culinary life in Turkey and the Middle East. 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 book, you'll discover such exciting recipes as Purple Carrots and Saffron Pears; Savoury Pastries filled with Feta and Herbs; Cinnamon-flavoured Meatballs; Aromatic Stuffed Mussels; Parsley and Bulgur Salad; Refreshing Cucumber Strips sprinkled with Salt; Pan-fried Halloumi dusted with Za'atar; and Velvety Yogurt and Sweet Helva - nothing quite beats the magic of mezze.
Ghillie Basan has worked in different parts of the world as a cookery writer, restaurant critic and journalist. She is Cordon Bleu trained and has written a number of highly acclaimed books on classic cuisines of the Middle East and South-east Asia. Her food and travel articles have appeared in the BBC Good Food Magazine and she is the author of the bestselling 'Tagine', 'Flavours of the Middle East' and 'Vegetarian Tagines and Couscous' for RPS.