This Turkish dip happens to be one of my all time favorite mezza, right after homemade hummus! It is smoky , packs a real flavor punch with layers of  herbs, nutty walnuts, sweetness from the sundried tomatoes and smokiness from the pepper. I love this on pita bread or with pita chips, as a dip with baby carrots or cucumbers, it is heavenly with lavash crackers, you can also use it as a topping for pizza or manakeesh.

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This spread plays on the same flavor notes as Muhammara but the flavors here are more intense because there is no bread crumbs to dilute them . I also love the refreshing herb and spice notes in this Turkish spread that are missing or less pronounced in Muhammara

Lately my news feed has been flooded with cheese boards and antipasto platters! There seems to be a memo that I had somehow missed saying that Sept was the month for cheese boards!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love cheese boards and antipasto platters, there is so much room for creativity in terms of color combinations, flavors, and presentation and I am all for anything that allows creativity to run wild. Added to that, cheese platters and antipasto platters allow you to enjoy a little bit of everything without going overboard! A win win situation in my book.

So in the spirit of joining the fun, I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips and ideas on how to prepare the perfect Middle Eastern antipasto platter but before I do, I think I need to explain the last word in my post’s title: “Mezze”

In the middle east, breakfast and dinner (remember,Lunch is the main meal here) are usually served in a style called mezze which means a selection of small dishes that are meant for sharing.The word  mezze actually comes from the Turkish meze “taste, flavour, snack, relish”, borrowed from Persian مزه (mazze “taste, snack” < mazīdan “to taste”)

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