WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)

La Belle Cuisine - More Appetizer Recipes

WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)

Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


Even More Mezéthes (Greek Appetizers)
Taste the international flavors of

"The whole Mediterranean, the sculpture, the palms, the gold beads,
the bearded heroes, the wine, the ideas, the ships, the moonlight, the
winged gorgons, the bronze men, the philosophers - all of it seems to rise
in the sour, pungent taste of these black olives between the teeth. A taste
older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water."

~ Lawrence Durrell

Recipe of the Day Categories:

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Recipe Home

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Recipe Index

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Recipe Search 

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Appetizers

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Beef

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Beverage

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Bread

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Breakfast  

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Cake

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Chocolate

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Cookies

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Fish

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Fruit

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Main Dish

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pasta

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pies

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pork

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Poultry

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Salad

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Seafood

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Side Dish

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Soup

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Vegetable

 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Surprise!


[Flag Campaign icon]






View of Water, Santorini, Greece
View of Water, Santorini, Greece
Photographic Print

Ricca, Connie
Buy at










Ouzo and Plate of Black Olives, Greece
Ouzo and Plate of Black Olives, Greece
Photographic Print

Outram, Steve
Buy at










The Foods of the
Greek Islands:
Cooking and Culture
at the Crossroads of
the Mediterranean











Pelican Standing in Alleyway, Mykonos Island, Southern Aegean, Greece
Pelican Standing in Alleyway, Mykonos Island, Southern
Aegean, Greece
Photographic Print

Mayfield, Diana
Buy at











Blue Wall, White Steps
Blue Wall, White Steps
Art Print

Meis, Georges
Buy at

Your patronage of our affiliate partners supports this web site.
We thank you! In other words, please shop at LBC Gift Galerie!


Sunlit Steps
Sunlit Steps
Art Print

Meis, Georges
Buy at


La Belle Cuisine


Mezéthes... (Greek Appetizers) Part 3

Recipes from a Greek Island
©1991 Susie Jacobs, Simon & Schuster


“Imagine you are meandering through the lanes and alleys of an island fishing village. The moon reflects on the whitewashed walls and the town glows in the
dark. Windows and doors are open to let in the night air. As you pass along you
hear heated discussions and snoring, laughter, televisions, of course, and music
in the near distance. ‘Páme miá vólta sto fengári…’ ‘Let’s go for a walk to the
moon…’ is an old tune sung on countless balmy nights like this, around
countless tables in countless tavernas, gardens, and cafés.
Across a clearing, under a couple of eucalyptus trees, is a table of singers and
one rapt guitar player. They motion you to join them and pull up another
chair. On the table there are jugs of Retsina and plates placed haphazardly
to be shared among everyone. There are shiny, wrinkled olives, pungent
pickled eggplant, and salads of sun-ripened tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and
onions. There are fried cheeses, smelts or pilchards, meatballs, and grilled
sausages – all with plenty of lemon wedges to squeeze over them. There is
a plate of sliced lambs’ tongues and a plate of sliced pink and white octopus,
both in vinegar, oil, and herbs. It is a simple feast of simple food to be enjoyed
along with the night, the music, and the company – an informal communion
under the stars,
These ‘mezéthes’, or ‘little bits’, are a national Greek institution. They can be anything from a handful of olives offered in the middle of a field to a grand
table spread lavishly as the prelude to a feast. Greek hospitality does not
allow for anyone to enter a home without having just a ‘little bit’, whatever
the time. Whether you call in the afternoon, or later in the evening when
you may already have eaten dinner, you will be offered a little something.
Nor would a Greek drink any sort of alcohol without some accompaniment,
and oúzo invariably means ‘mezéthes’ to nibble alongside it, whether in the
home, an ouzerié, or taverna.
The word ‘meze’ is Turkish, but the idea dates back at least as far as the 3rd
century BC, when Lynceus characterized it,
‘…for the cook sets before you a large plate on which are five small plates. One holds garlic, another a pair of sea urchins, another a sweet wine sop, another
ten cockles, the last a small piece of sturgeon. While I am eating this, another
is eating that; and while he is eating that, I have made away with this. What I
want, good sir, is both the one and the other, but my wish is impossible. For I
have neither five mouths nor five right hands…’
Poor Lynceus seems to have had the wrong idea, as it has never been in the
Greek spirit to glut oneself.”


Cumin Biscuits

“When she heard I was writing this book, my friend Martha, from
Texas, asked me to include this little recipe within a recipe:

'A little oúzo in the moussaka
A little oúzo in the cook
Serve on terrace with 360 degrees
Of panoramic view'

…which is exactly what I do with these biscuits. They
are divine at sunset dunked into a glass of oúzo.”

Makes about 36

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus
extra for shaping
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 2 medium lemons
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 – 1/2 cup oúzo or other
anise-flavored liqueur
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons cumin seeds, lightly
toasted then roughly crushed with
pestle and mortar

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and grated lemon zest in a mixing bowl.
Whisk the eggs with the smaller quantity of oúzo (you can use more
later if the dough seems dry). Beat this into the dry ingredients until
well absorbed. Add the baking powder to the crushed cumin seeds and
then mix this thoroughly into the dough.
On a well-floured surface make half the dough into a sausage shape,
about 18 inches long. If it holds its shape too well, it probably has too
much flour and you should work in a little more oúzo. Transfer the
shaped “sausage” to an oiled, or non-stick, baking sheet, and repeat
with the other half of the dough. Place the two ”sausages” far enough
apart to allow fort spreading – which they should have already started
doing. Bake the “sausages” in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for
45-50 minutes. Remove them, cool for 10 minutes, and then cut into
1-inch- thick slices. Arrange these in one layer on the baking sheet and
return them to the oven to dry out – about 10 minutes, turning them
over halfway through. If you let them dry out too much, they will
become jaw breakers, while if you don’t let them dry thoroughly,
they won’t keep well. Like everything in life, they should be just
right. Cool and store in an airtight container.


Apricots Filled with Smoked Trout
(Veríkoka Yemistá)

“The Egyptians credited the Greeks with inventing smoking as a means of preserving food and the Greeks do it extremely well to this day. When
choosing smoked trout, it should be firm – not mushy – and should not
smell too strongly of smoke. Island-ripened, sun-ripened apricots are a
poem. If you can find a poetic apricot, or one that isn’t too hard to ripen
or too mushy and tasteless, then these canapés taste like spring itself.
They can also be made with smoked eel, or peach or nectarine halves.”

12 luscious apricots
1 smoked trout (about 1/2 pound), skinned,
filleted, and flaked
1/2 hothouse [European] cucumber
(about 1/2 pound), peeled, seeds
removed, and flesh diced
1 fat scallion, finely chopped
(about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fruity olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash the apricots [or peaches or nectarines] and halve them through the seam. Remove the pits. In a mixing bowl carefully toss together the flaked trout, cucumber dice, chopped onion, dill, lemon juice, and olive oil, and season. Pile a spoonful of the salad on each apricot [or peach or nectarine] half and arrange prettily on a platter.


Lamb or Kid Terrine
(Katsikáki Paté)

“You can buy a whole of half baby kid from an island butcher here. There are a
few precise cuts with names, which happily forces one to develop ways of using
the trimmings. Talk to your butcher about using inexpensive cuts of lamb, or
his trimmings, for this terrine which should be made ahead and eaten after a
few days. It is ideal for a sunny spring lunch, particularly a picnic, with
tomato soup, olives, capers, pickles, and lots of country bread.
You can make a nice lunch for two from the lamb shanks which are left.
These can be served cold or hot, with boiled vegetables and a little broth
or jellied consommé.”

Serves 8

1 pound young lamb or kid meat, fat, gristle,
and tendons removed, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or
1/4 teaspoon dried mountain thyme
1/4 cup Cognac
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups thick [well-drained] plain
yogurt, sour cream or crème fraîche
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 bay leaves

2 lamb (or kid) shanks
1 veal shank, cracked
1 medium onion, stuck with 1 clove
1 carrot
1 handful parsley stems
(why waste them?)
1 handful celery tops and leaves
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns

Make the pâté, or jelly, for this dish a day ahead, as chilling and skimming
is the best way. Put the lamb (or kid) shanks and the veal shank in a pot
and add about 1 quart of cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, uncovered
(to keep the broth from becoming cloudy). Skim, then add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 2-3 hours until reduced by almost half. This
should make a nice jelly. Strain through a dampened cheesecloth and chill.
Meanwhile, marinate the cubed meat with the thyme and Cognac for 4
hours at room temperature (or overnight in the refrigerator).
Work the meat in a food processor until it is as smooth as you can get it,
or grind finely. (The old tried-and-true method is to pound the meat in a mortar with a pestle and then force through a sieve.) Beat in the eggs,
one at a time, then the yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraîche and finally
the olive oil, salt and ground white pepper.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the pine nuts, trying to
incorporate them evenly.
Oil the sides and bottom of a 3 1/2-cup-capacity ovenproof earthenware
or glass baking dish. Press the meat mixture into this and arrange the bay
leaves on top in a pattern. Cover with foil.
Stand the dish in a baking pan and pour in boiling water to come halfway
up the side.
Cook the terrine in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours. When the juices that rise to the surface are clear, the terrine is
done. Remove from the oven and weight with something that fits inside
the rim of the dish. When it is cold, refrigerate it.
The next day scrape the fat from the top and pour in the melted jelly to
cover it well. Chill again. The terrine is at its best after 3 or 4 days.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Mezéthes Part 1
Mezéthes Part 2
Laurie Colwin's Parmesan Sesame Biscuits
Layered White Bean, Tuna and Vegetable Dip
Hot and Sweet Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts
Roasted Eggplant-Chèvre Mousse
Vegetable and Veal Pâté

Index - Appetizer Recipe Archives
Daily Recipe Index
Recipe Archives Index
Recipe Search

WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)

WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Home  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Sitemap  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Recipe of the Day  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Art Gallery  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Cafe  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Articles  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Cookbooks
WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Cajun Country  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Features  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Chefs  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Food Quotes  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Gift Gallery  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Favorites
WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Basics  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Recipe Archives  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Links  WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) Guestbook   WB01507_.gif (516 bytes) What's New

LinkShare-Get Your Share!

Webmaster Michele W. Gerhard
Copyright © 1999-2010 Crossroads International.  All rights reserved.
Some graphics copyright
Revised: July 28, 2010.