A meze is a small dish - an appetizer or side dish - and it is very popular here for people to eat a selection of these as lunch or dinner. More often than not they are accompanied by ouzo or tsipouro. There is something quite idyllic about sitting by the sea, listening to the waves lapping onto the shore and nibbling at your mezes whilst slowly sipping your drink!
The word meze came from the same Turkish word, which in turn came from the Persian word maze, meaning 'taste, flavour, smack, relish'.
This is an update of a previous post and below you will find popular Greek mezes and side dishes. Just click on the links to go to the recipes.
This is a classic Greek side dish, which can be served with meat and vegetable dishes, as well as accompanying souvlaki or gyros.
Mmm!! One of my favourites! Smooth and tangy. This is traditionally made with Greek strained yoghurt but can also be made with mayonnaise instead. Try both ways and see which you prefer - with mayonnaise it has a slightly thicker, richer taste.
The classic Greek meatballs are called Keftedes and Keftedakia are a smaller version of them (akia at the end of a word in Greek means "small" in the plural). They can be eaten as a snack, as a meze with ouzo and/or beer or just as part of a buffet meal. Children love these! And they are easy and quick to prepare!
This is an easy recipe for Greek Keftedakia (small meatballs) with a difference. They are stuffed with Feta cheese and also have the Greek spirit ouzo in them. You should be able to obtain both where you live.
This is a traditional spicy cheese dish, which can be served as a meze with ouzo or beer, or as a dip. It is quick and easy to make.
This delicious dish can be eaten at any time, but is especially associated with Clean Monday, when Lent begins before Easter.
Another "classic" Greek dish. Dolmades can be eaten as a meze with ouzo or as a side dish. It can also be accompanied by Greek strained yoghurt as a tasty little snack on its own. Ideally, the vine leaves you use should be the first tender leaves of spring.
These are different from the large, stuffed green peppers with rice - which is a main dish. These peppers are a delicious side dish and the filling is quite spicy - it has a nice tang to it! Once again, this recipe is quick and simple.
This is a delicious and easily prepared side dish. The recipe uses the long, green sweet peppers (usually called frying peppers) as well as a couple of the hotter jalapeno peppers. The sauce is a lovely combination of Feta cheese and tomatoes - a tasty addition to any table!
This is a delicious - and filling - side dish. It has to be a hard cheese and in Greece it is best made with Kefalograviera, which is a little softer, or Kefalotiri, which is a little harder. So, if you can, you should try and use one of these cheeses.
This is another dish that is traditionally eaten on Clean Monday at the beginning of Lent before Easter. It is also well-known worldwide. It is made from taramas, which is the fish roe from cod (most common) or carp. You may know Taramosalata as being bright pink in colour, but this is usually due to food colouring being added. It should be a colour varying from beige to light pink, depending on the fish roe.
A tasty and simple accompanying dish. It is similar in some ways to Indian dahl, but it is not spicy. This dish is easy and cheap to make, and so is very common in simple Greek households.
This is a delicious meze! You can have it as an accompaniment to a meal, as a meze - which tastes wonderful with Tzatziki - or as part of a buffet.
This is a delicious and easy-to-make Greek summer snack. This is a speciality from the island of Santorini and is especially tasty with Santorini tomatoes. However, I imagine it may be difficult to obtain them if living outside Greece, but the quality of the tomato definitely makes a difference to the taste. You can eat these as a side dish or a meze and are especially delightful with tzatziki and Greek salad.
This is a tasty appetiser or side dish - very easy to prepare! The recipe is for 4 people and if you want to serve it in one ceramic dish, it should be about 20 - 25 cm diameter and 5 cm high. Alternatively you can split it into 2 bowls, like the one in the photo, or even serve it in small individual ceramic bowls.
If you like seafood and/or prawns, then you'll love this dish! It can be served as a starter or a side dish and is actually quite filling. The Greek drink ouzo is used as is Greek feta cheese, but you should be able to obtain both of these quite easily wherever you live. It is served in the individual ceramic bowls you can see in the photos and the bowls are placed in front of the guests piping hot! This recipe is for 4 of these bowls or servings.
These patties are really easy to make and are a tasty side dish or snack as well as being extremely nutritious.
These are delicious little rolls that you can have as a side dish or as part of a buffet. Ideally, the Greek cheese anthotiro is used, but if this is unavailable, riccota can be used. Likewise, the Greek hard cheese kefalograviera is used ideally, but if this is unavailable, parmesan can be used (the Italians have a few nice cheeses as well :) ) As stated in the recipe, you should get sun-dried tomatoes that have been preserved in olive oil.
These little spinach pies are delicious little 'nibbles' which you can have either as part of a buffet, a side dish or part of a light lunch. Easy to make and delicious!
These are easily prepared and tasty little rolls that you can have as a side dish on the table or as part of a buffet. The cheeses used are regatto and Greek anthotiro, which is quite widely available abroad. As I said, they can be prepared easily and quickly and are a tasty addition to any meal or simply a delicious snack.
There are a variety of cheese pies made in Greece. This is one made with Greek strained yoghurt. Please note, the yoghurt is not part of the filling, but is part of the dough itself, which gives it its own special taste. These small pies can be served as a side dish, or as a meze or in a buffet. They may be quite small, but they are actually rather filling and, of course, very tasty! They are also very easy to make.
Greek pickles can be eaten as a side dish at any time, but are usually associated with Clean Monday, when Lent begins before Easter. They are delicious with Gigantes which is also traditionally eaten on Clean Monday.
This is a simple Greek meze, usually accompanied by the Greek drink ouzo. The fish gavros (whiting) is very popular in Greece. This meze can also be a side dish at a meal or as part of a buffet.
Eat and Enjoy!