Summer is here and with it, barbecue season.

If you’re planning a barbecue, why not try something different to complement your grill.

Here are some meze recipes that will really zing up your side dishes.

Turkish-style slaw

Best meze dishes for your barbecue
Freddy Bird’s Turkish-style slaw. Photograph: Ola O Smit for the Guardian

Serves 4

Juice of 1-2 lemons
10 ripe cherry tomatoes, deseeded and juice kept
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
½ small red onion or 1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 spring onions
1 bunch radishes, cut in to eighths
¼ small white cabbage, finely shredded
⅛ red cabbage, finely shredded
1-2 chillies, finely chopped
⅓ cucumber, deseeded and julienned (skin left on)
2-3 large handfuls flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 handfuls fresh mint, chopped
1 large pinch pul biber (Turkish chilli flakes)
Salt and black pepper

To serve
3 tbsp Suzme or Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp harissa (hot chilli pepper paste)
1 tbsp pistachios, chopped

First juice the lemons, mix with the juice from the cherry tomatoes and the garlic and set aside.

Combine all the vegetables in a bowl and refrigerate. Five minutes before serving add the herbs, chilli, seasoning and lemon juice mix to taste. If you add the salt and lemon too early you’ll end up with a salad that’s far too wet and lacks crunch.

Serve the yoghurt, harissa and pistachios on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Freddy Bird, chef-patron of The Lido in Bristol and Thames Lido in Reading.

Yoghurt with Cucumber (Cacık)

Recipe Box - Salads and Mezes - Yoghurt with Cucumber (Cacık)

Cacık (‘JAH’- juck) is a refreshing dish that can be served with grilled meats or as a meze. It makes a perfect accompaniment to spicy dishes and BBQ’s. It can also be made with thicker yoghurt (Suzme or Greek) and used as a dip.

Click here for the recipe for Yoghurt with Cucumber (Cacık)

Smoked Aubergine Puree (Baba Ghanoush)

This delicious smoky dip is the ultimate aubergine recipe and a classic part of any meze selection.

Click here for the recipe for Smoked Aubergine Puree (Baba Ghanoush)

Potato Salad (Patates Salatası)

Recipe Box - Salads and Mezes - Potato Salad (Patates Salatası)

There’s a place on the table for potatoes at any time of the year. During the summer, potato salad makes a great addition to a meze table. The Turkish version is healthy, tasty and full of Mediterranean flavours.

Click here for the recipe for Potato Salad (Patates Salatası)

Carrots with Yoghurt (Yoğurtlu Havuç)

Recipe Box - Salads and Mezes - Carrots with Yoghurt (Yoğurtlu Havuç)

Carrots make a tasty addition to any salad dish and this quick and easy meze dish that goes well with grilled meats and chicken.

Click here for the recipe for Carrots with Yoghurt (Yoğurtlu Havuç)

Grilled Pineapple

This is not strictly a meze, but it is so easy and really good. The hot sauce gives it an extra kick and cuts the sweetness.


  • 1 fresh pineapple – peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch rings
  • ¼ teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • salt to taste


  • Place pineapple in a large resealable plastic bag. Add honey, butter, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Seal bag, and shake to coat evenly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate.
  • Grill pineapple for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until heated through and grill marks appear.

And finally …

We couldn’t go without giving you a recipe for a main dish to go with your meze selection…

Lamb on Skewers (Şiş Kebap)

Recipe Box – Meat Dishes – Lamb on Skewers (Şiş Kebap)

Follow this link for the recipe for Lamb on Skewers (Şiş Kebap)

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