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Digital Subscriptions > delicious. Magazine > September 2019 > ”A meze makes for stress-free cooking”

”A meze makes for stress-free cooking”

A table heaving with flavourful bits of this, that and the other… That’s what Georgina Hayden grew up with, and she still believes it’s the best way to eat, because much of it can be made ahead. Bring on the Med-style feast!

GEORGINA’S TABLE

MEZE MENU FOR 6-8

Sesame and black olive koulouri breads

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Crispy lamb, pine nut and raisin-topped houmous

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Epic muhammara

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Grilled whole halloumi with fig jam

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Gemista (roast stuffed veg)

I’m of Greek Cypriot origin, which means I have a certain amount of bias towards mezestyle eating, and it’s truly my favourite way to eat. At home, dinners were never plated – they always involved a table groaning with platters, pans and bowls of food. Slow-cooked Cypriot lentils, for example, were served with a bowl of chopped ‘village salad’, a mandatory loaf of koulouri bread, tart yogurt, pickles and olives… and that was just a regular Tuesday dinner. Why have just one thing when you can have many? The beauty of meze is that most things can be prepared ahead, and food in the Med is rarely served piping hot. There are a few thoughts as to why this is. Perhaps because of the weather? It’s often too hot in places like Greece, Cyprus and the Middle East to eat hot food, but it’s more likely to be because of the cooking ritual of using the local fourno, or village oven. Most family homes in Cyprus wouldn’t have had their own oven, so trays of food, like the gemista (stuffed veg), would be taken to the town centre and cooked in the communal fourno. By the time it was ready and returned, the food would have been lukewarm.

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About delicious. Magazine

Celebrate summer’s last hurrah with the September issue of delicious. magazine. Enjoy Georgina Hayden’s Mediterranean meze feast, Gennaro Contaldo’s classic vegetarian pasta dishes and a sunny lemon and raspberry bread-and-butter pudding to keep everyone sweet. We also cook Dishoom’s best recipes and find out what happens to your favourite Bake Off stars after the show has finished. Plus, tahini brownies, no-knead bread and a midweek shopping list that makes FIVE meals with NO waste. Brilliant!