The same story as with hummus. No mezze is complete without tahini. While most restaurants buy it ready made, some still make it fresh every day – that is just a whole other thing.
100 g light tahini paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
120‒160 ml water
2 tbsp Oleastro olive oil
sea salt to taste
Put tahini in a bowl, add garlic, and mix. Pour in a little water and mix. Continue until you have the desired consistency. If you will serve it with bread, make it thicker. If you serve it on salad, make it looser. Add salt and oil. Mix. Serve in a bowl.
There is no way your mezze will be served without tzatziki. A creamy yoghurt and cucumber sauce. I have been making tzatziki for a long time, but the one I tasted in Cyprus was something else. I had to find out what made this one different from the others. There are three possible answers – the yoghurt, the added peppermint (I never added that) or the way they prepare it. Or all three. But this one is pretty close to the taste I had there, and that pleases me.
240 g peeled and deseeded cucumbers
250 g sheep’s milk yoghurt
4 tbsp Oleastro extra virgin olive oil + some for serving
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried peppermint
freshly ground pepper
Grate cucumbers (on the biggest holes) and mix with 1 tsp of salt. Place in a colander over a bowl and let it sit for 3h to release some liquid. Take another bowl and a colander with some cheesecloth inside. Pour yoghurt into the colander and let it drain 3h.
When drained, press the cucumbers to drain the excess liquid. Place into the bowl, add the olive oil, and mix. Add lemon juice and mix again. Add yoghurt and peppermint and mix. Taste to check for enough salt. Add more if needed; if not, just add pepper. Serve in a bowl drizzled with some olive oil.
Text and photos: Signe Meirane
Photos taken with Sony alpha 7s