Snacks. Who doesn’t love them?
And a meal made up of snacks is an utterly relaxing and social way of enjoying a meal with friends. This is meze.
Meaning “snack” or “to taste”, meze refers to a platter of small plates rather than an individual dish. It’s generally a meal in its own right, but you can also dig into a few plates while sipping on your chosen aperitivo.
We don’t believe there are any rules for what you serve for your meze meal. In fact, you could approach it like a show and tell of all your favourite snacks. You can mix warm and cold food, meat and veggies, fresh and pickled, crunchy, salty, savoury and even sweet. You don’t even have to stick to one style of cuisine! The only limitation is your imagination and taste preferences.
We also find our kids love eating this way. Lots of little plates with plenty of choice and no commitment to “finishing their meal”. They eat way more than if we were to put a big plate in front of them and are good at self-selecting a variety of textures and flavours. That’s a win for the fussy toddler phase if you ask us.
A little history
You’ll find meze on tables across the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa, but it’s a style of eating that pops up all over the world. Think dim sum, tapas, hors d’oeuvre and even your smörgåsbord. It’s such a wonderfully social style of eating.
Our favourite way to eat it
There’s no wrong way to meze! Grab your mates or call the family over and throw lots of little yummy things on plates. Any time of year. Any style of gathering.
The No-Cook Meze
It’s as simple as it sounds. Just think about your favourite snacks from the deli, bakery and fruit and veg shop. Some things we like to include are:
- Crusty bread
- Cured meats (we’re loving truffle salami and prosciutto right now)
- Selection of cheese
- Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves)
- Stuffed peppers
- Marinated artichokes
- Marinated baby octopus
- Tinned sardines
- Boiled eggs, halved (does this count as cooking?)
- Seeds & nuts
- Dried fruit
- Popcorn (why not!)
- Grissini (you know those long crunchy bread sticks?)
- Veggie sticks
- Rockmelon wrapped in prosciutto
The Meze Meal
A little preparation, a little last-minute chaos in the kitchen, and then it’s all hands on deck to lay the food out on the table before you sit down to enjoy together. Some plates we like to bring out are:
- Crusty bread
- Saganaki cheese
- Meatballs in rich tomato sauce
- Grilled spicy sausage (like chorizo or sujuk)
- Prawns fried in EVO, minced garlic and lemon zest
- Char-grilled octopus
- Peppers stuffed with rice and mince
- Roasted eggplant topped with rich tomato sauce and yoghurt
- Egg salad
- Simple salad of tomato, cucumber and red onion drizzled with EVO and lemon juice
- Kidney bean salad made with diced red onion and garden cucumbers then dressed with a little olive oil, lemon juice and sumac
With endless options, we could meze all day, every day.
P.S We’d love to see your creations! Tag @3foxesmelb on Facebook and Instagram