Those Summer Nights Need This Californian Mezze Dish

Summer is the season for sharing. Produce is at its most abundant, it’s warm outside, and there is a celebratory feeling in the air. It is a time to celebrate community, to nurture our friendships, our bodies and our spirits. Summer is something special.

Spending a lot of time indoors cooking isn’t fitting for the season. We want to be outside. The days are longer and the nights warner. It’s time to get out the share plates, pop a bottle of rose and create an atmosphere of abundance.

Interestingly enough, the mezze platter seems to be most popular in warmer climates. Greeks, Persians, Turkish and middle eastern cultures start a meal by celebrating with small bites and share plates. Why this makes the most sense when it’s warm outside isn’t entirely clear, but we’ll draw the conclusion that it’s the ease and beauty that comes with pulling together a mezze platter that makes it so appealing in the warmer months. Vegetables make their way to the table raw, crisp, and in their most delicious state.

We were inspired to bring together a California version of this experience, and we’ll be making it all summer long.

| INGREDIENTS |

CALIFORNIA SUMMER MEZZE  

  • 1-2 cups baby carrots, like Nantes
  • 1-2 cups radishes, quartered or halved depending on the size
  • 1-2 cups blanched asparagus
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup castelvetrano olives
  • 1 cup sun dried olives
  • Herbs/ Sprouts/ Micro Greens for Garnish

MUNG BEAN HUMMUS

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked mung beans
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup water, or enough to reach desired consistency
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil garnish

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Makes 2 cups

ZUCCHINI BABA GHANOUSH

  • 1/2 dozen small/ medium zucchini
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water, or enough to reach desired consistency

Slice zucchini in half. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt. Broil for 5-10 minutes until zucchini has a slight char.

Once zucchini is broiled, blend with all remaining ingredients until smooth.

Makes 2 cups

| ASSEMBLY |

Artfully arrange all ingredients on a platter in a way that suits your eye. You may serve with crackers, or bread of your choice.

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