Friday, February 19, 2010

Meza for dinner

Meza in Arabic basically translates to appetizer.

Things like bread, hummos, cheese, borek, etc are often commonly found on meza platters. Delicious! So delicious in fact, from time to time I've been known to have meza for dinner...

One of my favorites is a combination of French feta cheese, parsley, olives and bread (lavash or pita). 4 simple ingredients with a not-so-simple flavor.

Most non Middle Easterners are going to think that that is a lot of parsley. Actually, for me it was not even close to being enough. I would have preferred at least twice as much with my meal for the perfect ratio of cheese: parsley. But we're like cows sometimes and just LOVE our greens. Use as much/little as your taste buds like :)

The bread and parsley are pretty self-explanatory. But let me take a minute and talk to you guys about French feta and olives.

First, the cheese. I like regular feta sometimes (i.e. in spanakopita), but not on its own. That's because when people say feta they're often referring to Greek or domestic feta, which have that strong and salty and overpowering flavor I don't love. French feta to me is almost a different kind of cheese. It's still somewhat similar in taste, but has a creamier and lighter/more delicate flavor. So eating it "alone" with only some bread and olives and parsley is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it's perfectly delectable!

If you've never tried French feta before I suggest you hunt it down.  If you love feta you'll definitely love French feta.  If you're not a huge feta fan it may just convert you...

Second, the olives. Kalamata olives are delicious, but often just too briny for my taste. So how do you tame them?? Lemons! When you get home from the store with kalamata olives, take a lemon and cut it into pieces. Squeeze the juice from the lemons into the olives and then just throw in the lemon pieces. (My mom used to also add a little bit of olive oil as well.) That's it. No need to remove the lemon pieces, just let them do their thing. It'll take ~1 week minimum for the flavor to really start to improve. But trust me- you'll notice a HUGE difference!

Anyways, for days when I'm being a bum stuff like this is often what I'll throw together for dinner. It's what I like to call a-MEZA-ing. (hardy har har)

Buen Provecho,


Mara said...

I'm a huge fan of feta with radishes and parsley... and thanks for the olive hint :) There's something about the ethnic food of Skokie I really miss sometimes!

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