Food, Home & Lifestyle

Mezze Spread: Muhammara

Yotam Ottolenghi

Lesson time 18:11 min

Yotam introduces you to mezze: small plates with big flavors, shared informally. Learn how to make muhammara, a pepper- and tomato-based salad.

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Topics include: Mezze Spread • Muhammara


[00:00:08.02] - I would say three words to describe a good tapas or meze selection. It's got to be small plates, big flavors, and easy to eat. It has to make a real impression. But, you know, you need to create a bit of contrast there, and you don't want to be too complicated. You want it to be rich in flavor. So I'm going to try to kind of translate this philosophy to three dishes that would cover different grounds and just have it kind of enjoy the Mediterranean way of eating. [00:00:39.07] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:47.71] I'm going to start by making muhammara, which is an Arabic pepper and tomato salad. It's absolutely delicious. It comes in all sorts of consistencies and people around the region, around the Middle East, love it in all sorts of ways. I'm going to have pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses. I'm going to have walnuts. So intense flavors, big flavors, but something super doable. [00:01:17.46] So I'm just going to start by preparing the peppers here. And the one thing you want to remember is don't put a lot of pressure on yourself. If you do a meze selection, it's already quite a bit of work. So prepare in advance. You could eat it at room temperature. And if you have something warm like a piece of warm fish or something along those lines, just make it the only one thing you have. And all the rest should be salady things of this nature, of the muhammara nature. [00:01:44.97] I'm just chopping the peppers here and getting rid of the seeds. And I'm going to get them all on this roasting tray. You don't need to be too particular-- a seed or two will not kill you. And again, going back to the beauty of meze, it's all about informality. It's something very informal about eating in this way. [00:02:04.80] It's not that kind of rigid three course meal, where you start with a starter and go onto the main course and then a dessert. It's all about a very relaxed, very Mediterranean attitude to eating and life in general. And that's why I love it so much. [00:02:22.44] So I spread all my peppers on a tray just about like that and add some onions. All these vegetables are getting grilled in the oven, so it all looks beautifully raw and fresh, but with time, you'll get caramelization and flavors evolving beautifully. [00:02:49.94] So this is tomatoes. Just like they're. There is really versions of muhammara are all over the Middle East. You find it in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestinian, Israeli cooking, in Turkey. And it's-- you use the glut of summer veg with muhammara. You've got good tomatoes, you've got great peppers. And you don't want to waste them. So you make something like that, it involves a bit of cooking, the intensification of the flavors, because it becomes very intensified with the cooking. And you get something really special. [00:03:28.34] You'd have olive oil. Some of them would have more tomatoes less peppers and vice versa. It also depends on how thick you want it. Some salt. A bit of pepper. And look-- this is alre...

About the Instructor

One of the most influential chefs working today, Yotam Ottolenghi creates dishes that layer color and flavor for maximum impact. Now the James Beard Award winner teaches you simple steps for making and mixing Middle Eastern–inspired recipes. Learn how to make generous platters—mezze and brunch spreads to homemade condiments, stunning stand-alones, and delicious vegetables—so you can entertain with ease.

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Yotam Ottolenghi

James Beard Award–winning chef Yotam Ottolenghi teaches you his recipes for delicious Middle Eastern platters layered with color and flavor.

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