Mezze plates for me & my sweetheart! Busy day of cooking at its best though if you want to cook a feast it’s probably not too bad on a Easter weekend! There’s home cured olives, Mezze veg & Lamb and to finish some pastry scrolls, bursting with fruit and nuts for dessert.
It’s a Mezze inspired platter with lots of yummy sides, braised vegetables and beautiful pink lamb. I also made some yummy fruit and nut scrolls to accompany if you feel like stretching the feast to dessert…
Time: Allow a good hour and a half, I even pre-made some of these items and wrapped them in the fridge till dinner time, (technically we had a really late lunch or very early dinner, ha ha.)
2 x Lamb loins
Half an onion,
Lemon Thyme sprigs
3 Garlic cloves,
Garlic for the (witlof)
Salt & pepper to season
Garnishes: chives, basil, your choice!!!
Accompaniments: a choice of many options from…
Cured olives with chillies if you like, (here are some I made earlier) Home cured with vinegar, olive oil, chillies and lemon zest. I scored them and kept them covered in an airtight jar for 5 days.
1 cup instant couscous,
3x Diced Tomatoes
Watercress to serve (optional)
Roasting pan, Baking paper and aluminium foil to rest the food,
Score the eggplants, season well with salt and oil them on a baking sheet. Bake in an oven at 180C (350F) till roasted and golden about 15-20 mins at least,
Get some butter in a pan. Braise the witlof with some garlic in the butter till golden,
Add the witlof into the pan with the eggplant which should be nicely charred by now. Switch off the oven and leave the pan inside (with the residual heat)
After 10 mins or so, set aside on a plate, (reserve pan with veg juices)
In the previous braising pan (which you originally braised the witlof in) add the tomatoes, a bit more oil, and salt. Simmer on low heat,
Add the couscous, stir to combine with a splash of water,
Spread a sheet of baking paper over a large bowl,
Couscous goes into the bowl.
Wrap up the paper into a tight parcel and set aside.
In a pan (I used the same as the baked eggplant etc) add the garlic, onion, thyme on a high heat,
Add the lamb, sear on both sides with paprika and salt to season. Throw in the olives & chilli if using,
Sear for a few minutes and remove as soon as both sides have colour. You want the lamb to be under done, as it’ll continue to cook through in the oven later.
Place on a piece of foil with baking paper on top, add the lamb, vege and pan juices. Seal up the bag to rest for 10-15 mins.
After which, grab your Mezze platters, fluff up the couscous with a fork. Then finally slice the lamb and veg!
These were made in a inspired moment when I racked my little brain for a suitable dessert as part of our Mezze platter, not entirely authentic middle eastern but inspired!
Time: 25 mins
Ingredients: makes 2 x scrolls and 2 x triangles,
1/4cup Salted peanuts, crushed
Mixed nuts (also salted if you like)
1/4 Mixed fruit (I used a combination of sultanas & raisins)
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Raw sugar,
1 Tbsp Softened Butter
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 puff pastry sheet
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) you don’t want it too hot or it’ll scorch the honey and sugar too quickly.
In a small bowl, combine the mixed nuts, fruit & cinnamon,
Add the raw sugar & honey,
I’ve added some whole peanuts and cashews here for more texture but feel free to omit if you prefer,
Add the butter and stir to combine,
Lay the pastry sheet out on a diagonal and score four lines into it, you want two thin strips and the triangles on the end. Spread the fruit & nut filling over the sheet.
Roll up into scrolls and triangles, place on a baking sheet and in the oven st 180C or (356F)
Bake for 20-25mins, check the pan and turn the baking sheet if necessary,
Ready to serve!