Yachts & restaurants on the Aegean coast in Gumusluk, Bodrum in Turkey

Turkish meze: Small plates for big summer gatherings

Summer is the perfect time for gatherings with friends and family, and what better way to entertain than with a spread of delicious Turkish meze? These small plates are not only easy to prepare but also packed with flavour, making them ideal for warm summer evenings. Today, we'll share some popular meze dishes like humus, ezme, and fava, along with their recipes. Plus, we'll show you how to use Turkish towels as chic and light patio throws to offer your guests during breezy summer nights.


Humus is a classic meze dish made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. It's creamy, tangy, and perfect for dipping with bread.

Traditional Turkish meze humus chickpea puree on plate


  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 ice cube
  • 7 tbsp water (adjust as needed)
  • 1 tsp salt

For garnish:

  • 1 tbsp cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1-2 sprigs of parsley


In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, olive oil, garlic, ice cube, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding water gradually to achieve the desired consistency. Transfer the humus to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sumac and parsley. Chill in the fridge before serving for best taste. Serve with pita bread or Turkish lavash.


Ezme is a spicy and tangy tomato and pepper salad that's a perfect accompaniment to grilled meats or as a dip with bread.

Traditional Turkish ezme salad  on plate garnished with black olive and parsley


  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • Salt to taste


In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, green peppers, cucumber, and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, red pepper flakes, sumac, and salt. Pour the dressing over the chopped vegetables and mix well. Refrigerate the ezme mixture for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve the ezme as a meze, sauce, or salad. It pairs well with fresh bread, pita, or as a side to kebabs and grilled meats.


Fava is a creamy and flavourful broad bean puree, often garnished with fresh herbs and olive oil. It's a great spread for bread.

Traditional Turkish fava broad bean puree meze garnished with red onion and dill


  • 2 1/2 cups dried fava beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 pinches sugar
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh dill, chopped (optional)
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Chopped red onion for garnish (optional)


Wash the dried fava beans in cold water. Place them in a large saucepan with the onion, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Cover the beans with water (about 2 fingers above the beans) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently, checking occasionally to ensure the beans are not sticking. Cook for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes until the beans are thoroughly soft and mushy. Using a stick blender, blend the beans and onion into a smooth purée. Add the chopped dill at this point if desired. Pour the mixture into a prepared mold or a Pyrex dish. It can be left in the dish and cut into squares or turned out onto a serving plate. Leave the dish in the refrigerator to set overnight. Garnish with more chopped fresh dill and sprinkle with a little chopped red onion if using. Drizzle with olive oil before serving. This dish is best served cold and can be prepared ahead of time, making it ideal for entertaining.

Adding a chic touch with Turkish towels

As you enjoy these delightful meze dishes, why not add a touch of elegance to your patio setup with Turkish towels? These towels are not only beautiful and versatile but also perfect as light throws for your guests during breezy summer nights. Their soft texture and vibrant patterns will enhance the ambience, making your gathering even more special.

Whether you're hosting a casual get-together or a more formal summer soirée, these Turkish meze dishes and the addition of chic Turkish towels will ensure your guests have a memorable experience. Enjoy the flavours of Turkey and the comfort of stylish, functional decor!

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