Middle Eastern Flavor Spotlight

Here at Entertaining Company, our chefs are influenced by all areas of the world. This week we are putting the spotlight on Middle Eastern flavors that we are loving and using. There are so many great spices that work really well in warm stews, hors d’oeuvre bites and salad garnishes. We’re also incorporating a lot of Middle Eastern fruits like pomegranates and fresh citrus fruits.

Toasted pinenuts, rainbow radishes, fresh herbs added to wild field greens and a za’atar spiced vinaigrette are ways we infuse a subtle Mideastern vibe to our seated salads. These are a few of the components that created this picture perfect salad on the left. Our Culinary Director, Shawn, created this salad for a wedding dinner station. We love the look of individual servings verse large bowls of salads. It’s a simple way to elevate the look of food without compromising flavor.

Middle Eastern dishes are often finished off with a dollop of creamy goodness. Tahini and labneh are two of our favorites. Tahini goes great with falafels or shown below is a dollop of it on on our four corner samosa waiter passed hors d’oeuvre. Tahini adds a nice light flavor to every bite. Labneh is a thicker yogurt like substance that is so delicious dolloped on top of homemade lentil soup, or a thick stew like this braised lamb one shown below. Yum!

Our chefs are always looking for new, flavorful yet subtle spice blends that really transform a dish. Which is why they love Middle Eastern spices like za’atar and sumac. Za’atar is a blend of a variety of different dried herbs like oregano, thyme and basil making this a great spice for so many dishes. Sumac is actually made from dried and powdered fruits. It has a very light, tangy flavor that goes great with summer salads or grilled meats like chicken or fish.