We like a Michelin-starred tasting menu as much as the next person. But sometimes we want to have a little bit more fun with our food, roll up our sleeves and dive into something a bit more no-nonsense and sustaining, away from starched white table cloths and stiff-backed waiters. And so, it was with some pleasure that we noticed the publication of Souk: Feasting At The Mezze Table this month. “Mezze is not just the Middle Eastern equivalent of tapas; it is also a way of life,” say Ms Nadia Zerouali and Mr Merijn Tol in their introduction. “Throughout our time in the Middle East, it became clear to us that mezze is equal to the generosity and hospitality of the Levantine people. And when we think back, our hearts and minds fill with warmth and desire for the smells of the souk and those lovely hours spent around a mezze table full of sensational food.” Now there’s something we can get on board with. Below is their recipe for some classic, easy-to-create mezze. Yalla!
This is a more tangy version of fattoush. Instead of tomato and cucumber, our quick-pickled carrot, turnip and radish is delicious. We’ve added labneh balls because cheese is especially tasty in a salad with crispy, garlicky bread. You can, of course, let your imagination run free. The dough is great with lemon zest or dried oregano.