Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quick and easy meze or appetizers: Bread rusks with tomatoes, olive oil and capers

I have been trying out some Greek recipes lately, mostly from two Greek cookbooks I own: Modern Greek by Andy Harris, and The Book of Greek Cooking (Icelandic translation) by Lesley Mackley. Meze are Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean small dishes or appetizers, much like the Spanish tapas or the Chinese dim sum.

Here is a meze from Modern Greek that I tried recently and loved. I did find it to be rather a lot of work to peel and deseed the tomatoes, so I didn't, but feel free to follow the exact recipe. My alterations are in the brackets. It is clearly a relative of the Italian bruschetta:

To serve 4 to 6 persons:

12 paximadia (dried bread rusks - I used lightly toasted slices of baguette)
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used fresh, perfectly ripe (completely red and slightly soft) sweet summer tomatoes and neither peeled nor seeded them the second time I made this, and it was just as good. However, it was a bit little wetter that way, so if this is going to stand for a while before you serve it, you'd better follow the original instructions and peel and deseed)
12 caperberries, rinsed (may be left out, especially if the tomatoes are perfectly ripe and sweet)
2 tbs olive oil (must be good quality oil, and make sure it's not rancid - yep, this happened to me the first time around, but fortunately I discovered it before I had ruined all the slices)
freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the rusks/toast on a serving platter and top with the chopped tomatoes. Put 2-3 caperberries on top of each, drizzle with olive oil and season with the salt and pepper.

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