Can you believe we’re halfway through summer already? There’s still plenty of time to get the most out of this glorious weather and we have a host of alfresco -suitable summer sharing plates for you to try.
These recipes give you the perfect excuse to throw a delicious summer soiree with some Mediterranean style ‘small-dish’ recipes called 'Meze'.
This type of small-dish grazing is great for summer because you can help yourself to as little or as much as you like. Mezze is also normally loaded with vegetables, so you can graze guilt-free. Meze generally spans a wide range of tastes, from tart & bright citrus to roasted, grilled, & earthy so there’s something for everyone.
Meze will make your dinner table look instantly Instagram-able, it’s so worth the effort, so let’s get Meze-making!
Here are a few recipes to get you started, from super simple to Meze Master.
Chilli Prawns (Prawn Saganaki)
- 240g raw prawns, shelled and deveined
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 100g red onion, chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 200g feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 sprigs of flat Italian parsley, loosely chopped
- chilli flakes (optional)
- warm pitta or rustic, crusty bread
- Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add garlic and onion, tossing every few minutes until the onion is soft but not caramelised.
- Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a simmer.
- Add the red wine vinegar and the prawns, insuring the sauce doesn’t boil but bubbles every now and then at a slow simmer and reduces by 1/3rd.
- When the prawns are cooked through, add the feta and parsley (and the chilli flakes if you want to) stirring continuously until the feta softens slightly.
- Serve warm spooned onto pitta or crusty rustic bread.
- 1 tin of green lentils, drained & rinsed
- 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bulb of garlic (about 8-10 cloves), minced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until soft and slightly browned. Remove skillet from heat and add the cumin and allspice. Stir.
- Pour the garlic and spices over the lentils, add the parsley, mint, and lemon juice. Stir and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with warm pitta, crusty bread, or grilled meats.
Roasted Red Pepper, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Feta Dip
- 480g jar of roasted red peppers
- 100g sun-dried tomatoes
- 150g feta cheese
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend at medium speed for 2 minutes. If the dip is too thick or dry, add some of the brine from the jar of red peppers and pulse a few times to incorporate.
- Serve with pitta chips, crackers, or crusty bread.
Lamb Burgers with Grilled Halloumi and Harissa Mayo
For the Grilled Halloumi:
- 3-4 slices of halloumi cheese per burger, about 1.5 cm thick
- olive oil
- Brush olive oil on both sides of the cheese.
- Grill cheese on a griddle or BBQ until it is marked on both sides and soft but not melting.
For the Harissa Mayo:
- 1 tbsp Harissa spice mix (We find ours in Sainsburys)
- 1 tbsp of your favourite mayonnaise
1. Mix the harissa & mayonnaise together and use to top your burgers.
Serve together with the halloumi topped lamb burgers.
Griddled Courgette Bites with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze
- 1 courgette sliced into rounds
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 125g soft goat cheese, room temperature
- 40g pomegranate seeds
- Drizzle of Balsamic Glaze (available at most supermarkets)
- Drizzle each courgette round with olive oil and place them on a griddle pan over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes per side until just soft and marked from the griddle.
- While the courgette is cooking, spoon the goat cheese into a mixing bowl, season it with salt and pepper, and whisk until light & airy, about 3 minutes.
- Spoon the goat cheese on each round, top with 6-8 pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve warm or chilled.
Ezma (Turkish salsa)
- 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 100g jalapeños, diced
- 115g roasted red peppers, diced
- 5 sprigs mint leaves, chopped
- 5 sprigs parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder (optional)
- 1 tsp honey
- In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, red pepper, mint, parsley, lemon, and olive oil until combined.
- Add dry ingredients and honey and mix again until combined.
- For best results, let mixture chill in the fridge for at least an hour (or up to 2) before serving.
- Serve with warm pitta bread or pitta chips.