Favorite Things: A small plate, for mezze

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Call it a salad plate, an appetizer plate, a dessert plate…it’s the 4- or 5- (even 6) inch plate in your collection that is the perfect size for the mezze you love. What mezze, you ask? The hummus mezze (with a little extra something-something) we’re making this week. It’s not really dip, the way we’re going to eat it, so don’t veer over to a deep bowl and call that fine. The way hummus is sold in its tubs from the grocery makes us think this is how it is to be served, but no. The hummus needs to be scooped up in a spoon, spread and spun around with the back of the spoon on a small-ish plate, or a flat bowl. This creates the beautiful, fluffy peaks and valleys that welcome olive oil, sumac, paprika, cumin, cayenne, or whatever you may be dressing up your hummus with.

This is traditional; this is how it’s done.

And how great that most sets of dishes have a salad or dessert plate that’ll do well for mezze, so you don’t have to buy something special to make it right. But if you wanted to buy something special to make it right, if I was going to buy something special, I’d want to buy these, or this, or perhaps even these.

I tend to keep an eye out for plates and flat bowls this smallish size when I’m antiquing, too. A pleasant little collection has been growing here on Main Street, along with the tall stacks of glass dishes that seem to fit an endless parade of uses.

It just wouldn’t surprise me (ok, maybe a little surprised) if sets of dinnerware don’t start including The Mezze Plate as a part of the ensemble. Our food is taking over, is it not?!

Do what you’ve got to do, my dear ones, to get ready to make our deliciousness this week. You probably have your plates ready to go, but I’m talking too about your pre-peeled chickpeas. Smooth glory and flavor explosion are coming to a lovely small plate near you very soon.

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  1. Madeline Sedrak says:

    So true Maureen, we have a ‘festive hommous’ we serve mezze style which is garnished with spiced lamb or beef, pickled turnips, cucumbers, toasted pine nuts, whole chick peas and drizzled with virgin olive oil.

  2. Reinventing Nadine says:

    Amen! I thought I am the only one who feels offended when people call Hummus a dip, when they smear it on bagels! Hummus is part of a meal, with pickles,shawarma, batata harra! I sometimes succumb and call it a dip just because I need people to focus on the right pronunciation. love those dishes!

  3. Diane Nassir (My maternal grandmother was an Abowd) says:

    Maureen, yes exactly! I have those little, non-matching plates too–just like every Lebanese kitchen–love to serve my guests hummus that way (drizzled with olive oil and paprika the way my Mother and Aunts did)