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Cold Mediterranean Plate

posted in Lunch, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
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I like serving “cold plates” for lunch or a light supper. This plate is really convenient as everything can be purchased in advance and happily sit in the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboard until you are ready to assemble the plate and then serve it up!

The separate foods that add up to a great dish are:

Hummus is a creamy spread made from chickpeas. Containers can be found in the dairy section of the grocery store. There are a variety of flavors available. Choose what you think sound good!

Pita Bread
This is a round flat bread (also called ‘pocket’ bread) that is available in small and large rounds. If you cut it into wedges it is perfect for dipping in the hummus.

Stuffed Grape Leave
You often see stuffed grape leaves on salad bars. They are literally grape leaves (from a grape vine) stuffed with rice and other ingredients, like mint, raisins and pine nuts. They are great fun to make for the experienced cook, but do take a bit of time! For the moment, I recommend just going with the ones that you can buy in a jar or a can.

Mixed Olives
Most grocery stores have a great fresh selection from which you can choose. Not everyone likes olives so you may want to keep them in a separate serving dish and let your company help themselves.

Feta cheese
This is a fairly salty cheese which is served on a Greek salad. Buy a block and cut it into chunks. Add some fresh tomatoes, fresh ground pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

There is no cooking involved here, but your guests will love the variety of tastes and textures this international plate provides.


P.S. You can vary the proportions to your taste.

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Jon Sacker said:

A hint for your readers, pita bread is wonderful if toasted. Indeed you can freeze it and throw it straight in the toaster to cook. I was also interested to see the photo of French feta. In Europe there’s no such thing. Feta cheese is covered by a protected designation of origin (PDO). PDO’s are geographical indications defined in European Union Law to protect regional foods. One thing which I came across in Australia and New Zealand which go great with this sort of meal are tins of flavoured tuna, such as lemon or sweet chilli. Have you ever seene these in Americaqqqq Jon

Shaula Evans said:

Kathy, your post has made me very nostalgic.

Ever since I left home, whenever I go to visit my parents my mom makes a picnic dinner of finger foods for the night I get in (typically from a long flight), and covers the table with exactly the kind of dishes you describe above. She’ll also throw in tabbouli, a fresh vegetable plate, and a few other items, depending on the time of year and the weather. The dinner gives everyone time to sit around and relax and visit and since it can all be prepared ahead of time, mom doesn’t wind up stuck cooking in the kitchen and missing out on all the catching-up talk.

My parents are coming to visit this weekend, and you’ve reminded me that this is a great way to handle dinner when we pick them up from the airport Friday night. Thank you!

Kathy Maister said:

Shaula, I am delighted to hear my post brought back some nice memories. I think we way over complicate entertaining. My motto is that entertaining should be nice and easy with lots of time and energy to enjoy one’s company.

It’s really quite amazing what international treasures can be found at one’s local grocery store. By adding fresh veggies and some interesting bread you can have a feast made in no time at all!

BTW Jon, I did buy that French Feta and it was fabulous! The texture was very creamy and it wasn’t too salty. I really enjoyed it!

Tony said:

RE: Jon Sacker:

I jkust recently bought a tin of bulgoki flavored tuna at a Korean Grocery here in Virginia. It is a Korean brand and I haven’t tried it yet. But I have not seen any flavored tuna here. It’s just packed in oil or water.

Everaert Patrice said:

Hey Kathy! That Cold Mediterranean Platereally looks fantasting! I would like to spoil my family with it.

Sincere Greetings,

Everaert Patrice

Eric said:

With spring and summer fast approaching, i can see myself eating this more and more often!

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