GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

MEZE MADE EASY.

THIS DIP IS MADE FROM LEFTOVER SNAPPER AND STALE BREAD with a couple of other basic ingredients that most of us have in our kitchen.

I LOVE TO FEED PEOPLE but have been frustrated lately because my whole place has been turned upside down with the inside and outside looking like a construction zone. FINALLY, my new raised veggie bed is finished: everything cleaned up outside, the evenings glorious and Easter time the perfect excuse to invite a few friends over. Then I got to thinking – WHAT DO I ALREADY HAVE IN THE FRIDGE, GARDEN AND PANTRY? This MEZE PLATTER WAS THE RESULT. The painting inside will have to wait – I got a bit bored after the fourteenth door!

  • FISH DIP – see recipe below.
  • BABY BEETROOT – cooked and served with salt and pepper, olive oil and dried mint with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I could have made my beetroot dip with them too, but they were delicious like this. Some pomegranate molasses would have been good on them too. ( I think I have been watching too much Yotam Ottolenghi – although, how much is too much?)
  • HUMMUS – my best ever recipe
  • LOCAL OLIVES. A TOP TIP from me. In a platter like this, always serve whole, firm olives with the pip in them. The taste and texture is far superior to the pitted mushy kind you use for pizzas – trust me. In this case they were from local producers GRUMPY GRANDMA’S from the Mullumbimby farmers market
  • LABNEH. Soft cheese balls coated in sesame and oregano made from a surfeit of yoghurt. Really easy to make. You just strain the yoghurt through some cheesecloth overnight. If I can do it, you can!

TARAMASALATA or FISH DIP is one of my favourite things to eat in Greece as a pre dinner snack. The fishy part is usually made from fish roe and the filler from breadcrumbs or mashed potato. I had leftover cooked snapper from a fish my son had caught, so I thought I would experiment and give it go – it turned out to be delicious. Too good to waste?

RECIPE

  • 1 cup cooked white fish, without bones or skin.
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs from good day old white bread – not a sliced loaf
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • Few sprigs of dill or fennel
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD

  • Cut the crusts off the bread and blitz in the food processor to make breadcrumbs
  • Add everything else and process until fine and fluffy
  • Serve drizzled with some olive oil, thin slices of lemon and some fennel sprigs

THE LAST PLACE I ATE TARAMASALATA IN GREECE. at Agatha’s Taverna in Corfu. She used mashed potato instead of breadcrumbs. Poly nostimo

MORE MEZZE DISHES FROM MY KITCHEN

Octopus salad

Spanish grilled capsicum salad

Haloumi and zucchini fritters

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