Mediterranean / Middle Eastern dish recommendation

I am having friends for dinner this Saturday and would like it to be a very fragrant food journey across the Mediterranean and Middle East. I will be making thirschfeld’s "Lamb Meatballs with a Broken Yogurt Saffron Sauce" (http://food52.com/recipes...), my "Spice Merchant Cauliflower Couscous" (http://food52.com/recipes...), warm pita bread and rosewater rice pudding. I would like another vegetable dish and/or salad on the side, what would you recommend? And, buy the way, no dietary restrictions - we eat everything ☺

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20 Comments

Droplet April 19, 2013
Sorry QueenSashy (and everyone else), not sure why this happened. One is a Foodnetwork recipe for Roasted Carrots with Za'atar and the other is a BonApetit recipe for Caramelized Spiced Carrots- both should turn up through Google.
 
QueenSashy April 19, 2013
found them! thanks for the effort!
 
creamtea April 19, 2013
Paula Wolfert's recipe:
1 lb. carrots, 1 clove garlic, 1/8 t. ground cinnamon, pinch cayenne, juice of one lemon, 1/8 t. granulated sugar, salt to taste, olive oil, chopped parsley. Simmer carrots whole, slice on the diagonal, combine remaining ingredients up to olive oil as a dressing, pour over carrots, garnish with the parsely.
 
creamtea April 19, 2013
forgot to add, serves 4.
 
drbabs April 19, 2013
I love this question and all these answers. I'm a huge fan of the spice blend za'atar. There's a recipe on the site for za'atar roast potatoes :http://food52.com/recipes/7952-a-medley-of-roasted-potatoes-with-homemade-za-atar-aleppo-pepper
but I also like it on a toasted pita rubbed with a little olive oil, za'atar sprinkled over.
 
QueenSashy April 19, 2013
I have za'atar in "Spice Merchant Cauliflower Couscous" (http://food52.com/recipes/21165-spice-merchant-cauliflower-couscous) but I love that potato dish (thanks for reminding me) and now consider switching. Toasted pita with za'atar is enticing too. The paralyzing problem of too many choices :)
 
Droplet April 19, 2013
Maybe some simple glazed carrots, mid-east style, or carrot salad
 
QueenSashy April 19, 2013
Droplet, I like that a lot, as a matter of fact I was researching Paula Wolfert's recipe last night. What's your favorite way of making the glazed carrots?
 
Droplet April 19, 2013
This one http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/roasted-carrots-with-zaatar-recipe/index.html is probably my favorite and if you like them more festive this is another one to try http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2004/11/caramelized_spiced_carrots
 
Droplet April 19, 2013
Seems like the links don't work...let me try to post them once more for you:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/roasted-carrots-with-zaatar-recipe/index.html
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2004/11/caramelized_spiced_carrots
 
amysarah April 18, 2013
David Lebovitz's most recent blog is about Lebanese mezze. Really great stuff: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/04/lebanese-meze/#more-12538 He includes a link to a recipe for Fattoush - a salad made with torn pieces of toasted pita, sumac, cucumber, etc. - that would be great with you menu: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2009/09/recipe-for-fattoush-lebanese-crumbled.html
 
petitbleu April 18, 2013
Tabbouleh is always a favorite of mine. The kind with tons of parsley and mint and a leetle bit of bulgur. It's a nice, fresh accompaniment to all the well-spiced dishes.
 
ceeteebee April 18, 2013
For a side/salad, you could try this. It's not traditional, but it's delicious and would go very well with a middle eastern meal (it's got many ingredients that are common in middle eastern cooking). http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/04/lentil-and-chickpea-salad-with-feta-and-tahini/#more-9888
 
pierino April 18, 2013
Of course there is always Mr. Big Zombie http://food52.com/recipes/1101-big-zombie-mustard-chicken-tagine-with-couscous
 
Bevi April 18, 2013
These make great party food. http://food52.com/recipes/15343-mediterranean-poppers
 
sdebrango April 18, 2013
Oh yes, so glad you suggested these. They are wonderful, simple and so delicious. I love these!
 
sdebrango April 18, 2013
I will second the eggplant idea, I make it very simply browning eggplant, cooking in a tomato sauce with some fresh lemon and saffron.
 
aargersi April 18, 2013
This is a spinachey dip by Shayma - OK not EXACTLY a veggie side, but it is delicious and with the warm pita, and maybe some red bell pepper slices ... yum:

http://food52.com/recipes/3541-yoghurt-spinach-dip-borani-esfanaaj-in-the-persian-manner
 
QueenSashy April 19, 2013
Abbie, thank, simple and yummy - I am definitely making this
 
Monita April 18, 2013
How about something with eggplant like Med expert chef Yotam Ottolenghi's eggplant with polenta
http://food52.com/recipes/18519-yotam-ottolenghi-s-sweet-corn-polenta-with-eggplant-sauce
 
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