California mezze time

We’re excited to offer a Middle Eastern spice set from Miry's List, consisting of shawarma, za'atar, aleppo pepper and sumac. 100% of the profits support this local non profit devoted to resettling recently arrived refugee families. The spices come perfectly packaged to make an impressive and impactful gift, or treat yourself and we’ll provide recipes for how to use these spices with this week’s offerings.

Use the shawarma spice mix to season roast carrots, cauliflower or winter squash from the produce box or grass-fed ground beef and Jimenez Family Farm’s ground lamb for lula style kabobs. Or turn the ground beef and lamb into meatballs or burgers using the aleppo pepper. Toss sliced onions in gorgeous, garnett sumac to serve with grilled meats and mix za'atar with our favorite local olive oil to serve with some Bubb and Grandma's sesame loaf.

We’re marinating organic, ground chicken in middle eastern spices, so you can make lickity quick chicken lula kabobs. And to sauce your lula, branzino filets, free-range whole chicken, salads or roasted vegetables, we have a batch of tahini dressing from our friends at forage, and Mel’s zhoug, a pounded fresh, green chili and herb sauce that’s a staple on most Yemeni tables and delicious on almost anything. 

We’re also bringing back our chickpeas ala Canele, cooked with onions, garlic, and warm spices. These are delicious as is, or can easily be turned into a substantial stew with some farm box vegetables, and/or a can of Trader Joe’s Grecian style eggplant!

Serve any of this over fregola sarda and call it a meal. Fregola sarda, Sardinian pasta balls that are similar to Israeli couscous, have a dense and chewy texture, but distinct toasted, nutty flavor. You can serve these hot or as the base for a cold salad. I’ll probably roast chicken with za’atarsumac and lemon in a cast iron pan, then add cooked fregola to absorb all the crispy goodness and pan juices.

I feel like I’m burying the lead here, but back by popular demand is Amy’s favorite braised octopus and bean salad dressed with a bright red wine vinaigrette. Make it the anchor of your meal or the star of your mezze. And we’re excited to offer spanakopita from Calamaki. Chef Kosta’s authentic Greek dishes are available at the Hollywood Farmers market on Sundays, where he also sources many of his ingredients. The spinach pie is his grandmother’s recipe, but he makes the sheets of dough using local Tehachapi Grain Project’s sonora wheat flour. 

We have Valbreso’s sheep’s milk feta to garnish almost anything on this week’s menu, and Mel’s addictive marinated mixed olives to serve with it all. 

To add to the spread, we've got Aris Natural Food’s marinated kefir cheese which is particularly dense and creamy and delicious loaded on bread. This strained yogurt cheese comes rolled in balls studded with either sun dried tomatoes or jalapenos and packed in olive oil. Their plain yogurt can be turned into a sauce like tzatziki or sweetened to your liking. A mere spoonful of their lemon yogurt can finish a meal on a sweet note. And this week we’re introducing their vanilla-chocolate yogurt!

Sweeter still,  we’ve got walnut baklava from Baklava Factory, our favorite local baklava shop.

To wash it all down, we’ve got more of Sam’s house wine, Dom de Fontsainte’s Gris. Because, it’s light, crisp, and goes well with everything.