A Middle-Eastern inspired dinner menu

Tonight, lively, fresh starter courses meet a creamy, spiced main, followed by an icy-sweet treat for dessert.
Creamy hummus, spiced lamb and chopped vegetable salad Middle Eastern food for four. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

Inspired by a trip to Tel Aviv, where fresh ingredients, lively marketplaces and dinner traditions abound, this menu is a great way to capture the magic of Middle Eastern food in your own kitchen. Here, the starter courses are lively and fresh, and creamy hummus is not just a pre-dinner dip, but a luxurious main dish. And to top it off, is a refreshing icy dessert of citrus, pomegranate, and orange blossom.

Star anise and cinnamon cocktail. (Photo, Michael Alberstat.) Star anise and cinnamon cocktail. (Photo, Michael Alberstat.)

Star anise and cinnamon cocktail A spiced citrus drink you can have ready ahead of time! Mix together in a pitcher, and refrigerate until guests arrive. Serve over ice.

Fresh fig salad with blackberries Fresh fig salad with blackberries. (Photo, Erik Putz.)

Fresh fig salad with blackberries Start dinner off with delicate pea shoots, ripe blackberries and figs, drizzled with honey vinaigrette.

Spring-herb fritters with quick-pickled red onions Spring-herb fritters. (Photo, Erik Putz.)

Spring-herb fritters with pickled onions These are like savoury pancakes and make a perfect appetizer or first course.

Creamy hummus and spiced lamb with pine nuts Photo, Erik Putz.

Creamy hummus and spiced lamb with pine nuts Adding spicy sautéed meat turns hummus into a fabulous main. Serve with lots of very fresh pita.

Israeli chopped salad This fresh, crunchy salad is served with almost every meal in the Middle East. Don’t make it too far in advance, or it will become soupy.

Pomegranate granita (Pomegranate granita.) Photo, Erik Putz.

Pomegranate granita Sweet, tart and icy, this granita is as refreshing as dessert can be. Serve it in frozen dessert dishes to delay melting.


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