We expanded the definition of “Meze” on Tuesday night to include the western Mediterranean as well as the east which is the part of the Med typically associated with the word. It was a sort of perfect storm of food that just happened to show up in our fridge after a few shopping trips – some near, some far. There was Manchego cheese from Barcelona mixed with green apple, garlic and olive oil for a tasty salad. There were feta and filo puffs from the Greek Society specialty shop in Prague 6. Add to that grilled eggplant and yellow peppers finished with Istrian olive oil, flanked by grilled veal sausage from the Little Italy deli just down the street. The plate was begging for a sprig of parsley and sliced cherry tomato for aesthetics but on a Tuesday night, garnishes seemed superfluous.
It was really a great combo of flavors. The acidity of the apple in the Manchego salad served as the perfect palate cleanser between bites of the smokey eggplant and rustic veal sausage. Oh, and the sausage – it was perfectly seasoned, bold and grilled open until the edges were slightly crispy. I’m about to fill my freezer with this stuff on my next trip back to the Little Italy deli. The filo-feta puffs are sort of a high-class pizza roll. It’s hard not to pop the entire thing in your mouth and enjoy smoothness of the feta with the flakiness of the crust in one bite.
I really love eating this way. Preparation was very simple, consisting of some washing and slicing. The rest was just a warm oven and hot grill. All that was missing was the lap of the Mediterranean outside our window. I guess you can’t have everything!