Friday, May 1, 2009

A Welcoming Mezze

Advice for people hosting overseas houseguests: the best way to welcome a travel-weary visitor is with a mezze plate like this one. I recently took an overnight flight to London, and when I arrived late-morning, my friend put this dish in front of me. Delicious whole-grain pita, grape leaves, grain salad, roasted peppers, and the best homemade babaganoush I've ever tasted. Mmmmm. Mezze is such an awesome concept: so many different cultures enjoy some version of the mezze, and there are so many different kinds of dishes that you can include: olives, yoghurt, roasted cauliflower.... (see: Mezze is served as an appetizer to share at some restaurants.

The baba I had could be made with the following recipe:

Garlic-Dill Babaganoush

1 eggplant
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
handful of dill
3 tbsp non-fat plain yoghurt
2 tbsp tahini (optional--makes it thicker)
olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Roast the eggplant and garlic until mushy. Dice red bell pepper. Mix together with the fresh chopped dill, 1 tbsp (or so) of olive oil, yoghurt, a few squeezes of lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Simple. Elegant. Healthy.

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