I’ve found it. My one, new, incontrovertibly delicious, show-stopping salad of the summer. I could eat it for lunch. I could eat it for dinner. I could probably manage to eat it for breakfast, if you pushed me on it. This salad is just the best.
British food writer Elizabeth David has had a strong influence on my cooking for a long time now, ever since I stumbled on her book An Omelet and a Glass of Wine when I was first setting up housekeeping. I read her before I discovered M.F.K. Fisher and Laurie Colwin and I occasionally read her still, when I want to travel to a different place and time.
Brandadenoun: Originating from the south-central French regions of Languedoc and Provence, brandade is a simple, yet hearty spread made of salt cod, olive oil, and milk. Sometimes garlic or potatoes are added. It's served warm on slices of crusty, rustic bread with a green salad.
I've always loved dolmas - they're such a healthy and delicious finger food to take to a picnic or to add to a collection of mezedhes spread around the table. In the past, I used to just grab a plastic container of pre-made dolmas at the grocery store. One day I looked at them and realized three things; one, these are pretty expensive. Two, I could probably make my own rather easily at a much lower cost. Three, homemade ones probably taste much better. I was right, and I've been making my own dolmas ever since.
Last week I made a list of small bite meals around the world. One item on this list was meze, which is a collection of finger foods. A meze is a big part of the dining experience in Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Arab countries. The word "meze" means "taste" and/or "snack." The concept is very similar to the tapas of Spain, but with different ingredients.