Sunday’s.. oh how I love you. My favourite day of the week. The one and only day where I can come and go as I please, do what I want and socialise freely without the boundaries of having to work later. (Providing it’s not snowing that is!)
Typically, on the day that I had ear marked for a deliciously social mezze lunch with my nearest and dearest the skies opened and dumped a lot of snow on Exeter for the second time in two weeks. Despite cancellations left, right and centre from my guests that live out of the city fearing dangerous travel, those who could make it safely on foot still came. We ate a delicious feast, chatted and laughed at the irony of eating food inspired by warmer climates whilst there was a blizzard blowing outside!
You all know how much I love spending time with my friends and family, especially when there is delicious food and wine on the cards. My initial plan for Sunday’s mezze fest was inspired when I was sent some rather wonderful looking roasted vegetables, stuffed peppers and red pepper paste called Aivar from Pelagonia, a Macedonian food range available from Waitrose or Ocado. I wanted to share my bounty with friends and create a relaxed lunch for my guests so they can help themselves from a table laden with not only the Pelagonia range but with cheeses, cured fish, cold meats and delicious breads.
My love of the Mediterranean food culture came through here with a bountiful table, great company and good wine. What’s not to love?
A little more about Pelagonia.
Pelagonia is an award-winning Macedonian food range based on the very best traditional recipes. Their growing range also includes innovative new products based on their trademark red peppers and quality fruit and vegetables grown on Macedonias fertile land.
Macedonian peppers are known for their size and sweetness. With 300 days of sunshine a year and a fantastic heritage of agriculture, Macedonia is a fertile land with great produce.
Recommended by Yotam Ottolenghi and Jamie Oliver Magazine, you can find Pelagonia globally in fine food stores across the UK (Waitrose & Sainsburys), Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Dubai.
The produce for their core range is grown and produced in the Pelagonia valley, in south-west Macedonia. Many families and small holdings work as a cooperative in partnership with Pelagonia to grow, harvest and source their fantastic produce.
Back to the lunch….
The popping of a cork is such a fabulous way to get a party started and that’s just what we did. Drinks poured and the table bursting with vibrant produce from producers both local and from further afield. On asking my guests what their favourite dishes were, Viki said ‘My particular favourite was the melt-in-your-mouth grilled aubergines which reminded me of lazy sunny holidays in the Mediterranean. Perfect for a simple lunch with bread or for a pre-dinner aperitif’. I couldn’t agree more! I, myself loved the intense flavour from the Aivar. A sweet red pepper paste perfect for sandwiches, bruschetta or even stirred through pasta. Delicious!
After grazing our way through the savouries it was time to turn our attention to the wonderful blood orange bundt cake baked and decorated by my lovely friend and master baker, Viki. A perfect seasonal end to a wonderful mezze feast.
Once again another lazy Sunday with friends and delicious food made a spectacular end to the week despite the snow flurries. It was a shame that my full quota of guests couldn’t make it but it’s an excuse to reschedule and do it all over again!
Disclaimer; I was sent some product from Pelagonia to try. I was not paid for the post and all views are my own as always.