Sometimes we like to go all out. To feast like kings and queens.
In the past, this impulse, when paired with the desire to see our friends TY and SK, has culminated in a Sichuan Feast and a Mexican Fiesta.
This time around, a Mediterranean-inspired spread, with nods to Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. I've linked to some of the recipes or sources below, but let me know if you want more information about any of these dishes--they all turned out wonderfully!
(1) A spread of marinated goodness: artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, home-canned dilly beans with garlic cloves, and home-pickled beauty heart radishes; and
(2) Hummus, Vegan Muhammara (an amazing walnut-roasted red pepper spread), and Baba Ganoush, with whole wheat pita:
Turkish Red Lentil Soup (super simple, and really hearty) and Turkish-Style Braised Green Beans (made with green beans I'd frozen from the market last summer):
Spinach and Black Eyed Peas with [lots of extra] Caramelized Onions (Roden's Arabesque, p. 268), and Eggplant Pilaf (Roden's Arabesque, p. 170):
Orange, Olive, and Onion Salad (Roden's Arabesque, p. 48), and Pistachio-Rosewater cookies:
The book from which many of the latter dishes came is Claudia Roden's Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, & Lebanon. SK and TY owned this book and were eager to try it out, which was one of the motivating factors that led us to choose this cuisine as our focus.
Also, because our friends (along with TY's favorite food blogger at Serious Eats, Kenji Lopez-Alt) were having a vegan February, all the dishes were modified to be vegan, if they weren't already.
A fantastic meal, all around! I'm hungry just thinking about it.
What cuisine should we tackle our next go-round?