I’m at a traditional olive farm, lying in the green grass dotted with yellow wildflowers. The sun filters out through the dense foliage of the boughs of the olive trees and their sharp aroma tingles my nose. An almost salty breeze hits my skin as I stare at the pale blue Mediterranean sky, lost in the comfort and warmth of Greece. I am soaking in this feeling of absolute euphoria as I gently surrender myself to the hands of an afternoon siesta, only to wake up in my kitchen with a can of olives held up close to my nose...
On my journey to discover food, I have come across various cuisines that have, since their introduction, left a huge mark on the world around them. Argued as the healthiest world cuisine, it was quite a haply event which led me to recreate this facet of the world cuisine, changing my direction about food all over again. The best part about world cuisines is that every time I come across one of them, I’m swaying in their direction and every instance makes me think differently of food. For instance, my confrontation with the Cantonese cuisine some time ago made me open to the fact that even the simplest of ingredients can deliver heights of complexity, but this time, the tables have turned drastically.
You see, sometimes food does not have to be rich and unctuous to deliver fulfillment and its the brightness of some dishes that brings contentment in waves. So, stumbling upon some fresh herbs and bright veggies was what it took to make my first step towards the Mediterranean.
When Mediterranean first hit me, all that came to mind was white sandy beaches and still turquoise waters, but never had I known what these beaches sequestered all along. What lied beneath came out to be a package of culture, tradition, freshness, humility, respect and health, and it wasn’t long before I had to take a step in this direction of optimum fulfillment and nourishment.
Though traditional Greek platters flaunt simplicity in each of their component, these platters come out to be centuries of old tradition woven along with the best of indigenous produce ranging from citruses, wines, cheeses, olives, capers, herbs and a whole lotta love! Trying out my hand at this vivacious cuisine, has resulted in a redefined Greek platter (mezze or meze) from which I hope to promote love for fresh food and healthy eating habits.
Here is my platter: A compilation of roasted chickpea and Greek veggie salad tossed through za’atar, a tapenade skordalia, fresh mint labneh, pomegranate molasses and pita chips for the crisp. Topped off with a generous dash of olive oil, the dish has been made complete with loads of inspiration from native Greece and an out pour of Greek meraki.
Just as the Greeks say it, ” Καλή όρεξη!” Seems too Greek eh? Let me try again…”Bon apetit!”