Turkish Meze Dishes

With summer on the way, there is no better way to celebrate the long summer evenings and  weekends than an alfresco feast with family and friends. These Mediterranean dishes will provide a delicious accompaniment or starter to long, lazy summer summer lunches and barbecues.

Stuffed vegetables

A vegetarian option that goes down well as either a side dish or a main dish if served with a delicious mixed salad and a large spoonful of thick, creamy, natural yoghurt!

Ingredients: (serves 6)

Green. Yellow and Red pepper (one of each)
2 ½ tbsp tomato paste
2 large tomatoes
250 ml vegetable stock
2 medium aubergines
2 tsp salt
2 medium courgettes
large handful fresh parsley
6tbs good quality olive oil
large handful fresh mint
1 large onion finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
400g long grain rice (rinced)


Prepare the vegetables for stuffing. Cut the tops off the peppers and tomatoes to create lids, set aside. Scoop out the pepper seeds and discard. Scoop out the tomato flesh and place in a bowl. Cut the tops off the aubergines and courgettes (to make lids) and scoop out the seeds and flesh inside, putting aside in the bowl together with the tomato flesh.

Finely chop the flesh from the tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes that you have put aside in a bowl.

In a large pan over a medium heat, warm 3 tbsp olive oil and fry the onion and garlic until soft, then add the chopped vegetable flesh and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes until softened. Add the rice and 150ml of the vegetable stock, raise to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (the rice will continue to cook later once you have stuffed the vegetables). Season with salt and pepper and stir in the herbs and chilli flakes.

Place the lids on the vegetables, once stuffed and drizzle them with olive oil. Pour the remaining stock into the pan, put the lid on the pan and simmer gently for approximately 45 mins (add more water to the pan if needed. The water should be enough for the vegetables to stand in to simmer). The vegetables are ready when both the rice filling and the vegetables are cooked.

This can be served hot or cold. Delicious served with a large dollop of natural yoghurt!

Sardine Brushetta

Turkish Meze Sardines

A delicious simple dish, packed with protein and flavor and is very easy to make as a light lunch or a starter.

Ingredients: (Serves 1)

1 tin of sardines in olive oil
2 slices toasted tasty bread
A salad mixture of freshly chopped tomato, cucumber, spring onion, and fresh herbs (chopped parsely and basil
Wedge of lemon
1 clove garlic


  • Toast the bread and afterwards rub a clove of garlic over the toast, this will add flavor!
  • Place the fresh salad mixture on the toast
  • Drain the sardines and place on top of the salad
  • Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper and top with the basil leaves
  • Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Eat this immediately after making otherwise the toast will go soggy.