My friend Steve and a modern meze feast!

I was very lucky to hear a while back that my good friend Steve was coming to visit me from Philadelphia! I absolutely adore him, and was missing him greatly. He came in late on a Tuesday night. It had been some time since he had been to Portland, and I wanted to tour him around, but most importantly I wanted to visit with him more than anything in the world. Steve is a Vegan, and wanted a snack when he arrived to Portland. We took a walk down to Voodoo Doughnuts for a some vegan treats. We chatted waited in line, and then ate our doughnuts. Pure bliss, plus a Portland institution. We then went out for local IPA, and went to bed. We got up early, and went for breakfast at Jam on Hawthorne. We walked over the Hawthorne bridge, and into downtown. We stopped at Stumptown, and headed straight for Powells. After oggling at books for quite sometime, we needed to purchase fresh ingredients for a special feast I had planned for Steve. I received Skye Gygnel’s A year in my kitchen as a belated birthday gift. Her book is stunning, and uses the freshest seasonal ingredients. I adapted her meze platter to make it vegan for Steve. I also made some cous cous with almonds and herb broth, and mini Lebanese pizzas to dip with. I grilled a bunch of veggies, served everything with Marcona Almonds, and olives and called it a meal! It was absolutely divine. We drank local wine, talked about old times, and new friends. It was a night to remember! I’m at home now, and realize there is a whole in my heart, and home without Steve’s company. I hope he knows how much I miss him.

A Modern Meze

Chick Pea Dip

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • juice from one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 mint sprigs
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp non fat Greek yogurt (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
steps
  • add everything to bowl of processor and process just till chunky. You aren’t looking for smooth creamy hummus, but a dip that can hold up well to sandwiches, and veggies alike.
Beet and Horseradish Dip
  • 2 beets
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 red chili ( be careful, if you don’t like spicy, remove seeds, and add to taste)
  • 6 mint sprigs
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp non fat Greek yogurt (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
steps:
  • Wash beets, and cut off ends ( preserve the greens for use in other recipes ), and boil for 3o minutes until tender.
  • Peel of beet skins, and place all ingredients into bowl of processor.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • I prefer this dip with yogurt
Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Dip
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil (plus 2 Tbsp for roasting peppers, and 1 Tbsp for caramelizing onions)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tbsp non fat Greek yogurt (optional)
Steps:
  • Cut plum tomatoes in half, place on foil line baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, and a little bit of sugar. Roast on 200 degrees for 2 hours, or until shriveled.
  • Roast peppers on foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast on 350 for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes. Peel the charred spots away with gloves, and water.
  • Caramelize onions, in a hot pan with olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  • Add all cooked and non cooked ingredients into bowl of processor. Process until smooth.
This meal works well prepped the day of, or a few days before. I think it would be great for camping, or a picnic in the park.
Serve with Rose from SW France, or a chilled Pinot Blanc. We enjoyed a few bottles from Oregon, so Steve could sample wines he hadn’t tried before!
xoxo
Sarah
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