From which rose a lovely collection of small plates that we passed and shared over a couple of glasses of wine. Well, Cherub didn’t have any wine.
It was all easily pulled together a Monday night on a long weekend, Memorial Day here in America and Bank Holiday for those across the pond. It’s a leisurely way to enjoy a meal or entertain. It’s basically the more familiar tapas only with Mediterranean flair. In fact many a Greek meal begins and ends entirely with mezedes.
Tonight’s meal started with those lovely roasted lemon potatoes. (Four potatoes cubed with a whole lemon then roasted in a hot oven with some salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh oregano leaves for about 30 to 40 minutes.) I let them cool (I discarded the roasted lemon pieces) and made them almost into a potato salad, really, only with smashed olives and lots of lemon zest and finely chopped parsley. A dressing of olive oil (I love The Olive Orchard’s Crete olive oil for this, nice and green and grassy), vinegar and just the tiniest bit of prepared mayonnaise made the base.
This partnered the skewered chicken that was marinated in oregano, lemon and olive oil, some balsamic, ginger slices and rhubarb chunks (for tartness and because I can’t stop using it and it is gigantic in my backyard).
Then a small salad with lettuces, cucumbers, feta and cubes of crispy fried pork belly that acted as the most delicious porky croutons. An acid-y vinaigrette of orange zest, lemon juice, honey, olive oil and vinegar helped cut through the fattiness of the pork. Triangles of bread (pita, or the fluffier – and Indian – naan) and some tzatziki rounded out the meal and made for great post dinner mopping up.
1 boneless, skinless full chicken breast, cut in large cubes
1 stalk of rhubarb, chopped in 1 inch pieces
1 large hunk of ginger, cut into 6-8 large discs
1 stalk of fresh oregano, picked
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 very generous glug of olive oil, salt and pepper
At the risk of irritating the Greeks, 1 tablespoon of French mustard
Combine all of these ingredients in a large bowl or Ziploc and marinate, 4-6 hours. Then skewer the meat, alternating chicken, rhubarb, and ginger.
Fire up your grill and grill for 15 or so minutes. You may also use your oven’s broiler. Remove from the skewers into a small serving bowl. You will want to discard the ginger, but keep the rhubarb, it’ll make you pucker.
Serve with tzatziki, pita (that you warmed by just throwing on the grill that was dying down, natch), pork belly salad and potatoes.
Playlist included the coolest cover evah of Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, by Mr. Little Jeans. This is one you’ll want to click.