Greens with Crispy Onions (Hendbeh b' Zeit)
Wilted greens topped with fried onions is a mezze must. Bitter dandelion greens are the most flavorful, but chard or kale--really any green or a combination of them--tastes delicious.
Stewed Okra (Yakhnet Bemyieh)
Simmered in a tomato sauce fragrant with garlic and cilantro and finished with pomegranate molasses, this okra recipe might be just the dish that turns okra haters into lovers.
Tomato Dolma with Roasted Eggplant (Köz Patlicanli Domates Dolmasi)
Dolma are stuffed vegetables common from the Mediterranean all the way to Central Asia. This easy recipe pairs ripe tomatoes with a ground beef filling that's lightened with eggplant and onions. Serve the stuffed tomatoes as a starter or double up for a main dish.
Grilled Endive & Red Onion with Fresh Figs
Grilling coaxes sweet-savory depth from endive and red onion in this delicious vegetarian side dish. Fresh figs lend a bright, jammy acidity in the summer, but don't hesitate to use dried come winter. Leave the root ends attached when trimming your onions and endive, so they hold together and don't slip through the grill grates. Serve as a salad, or eat alongside grilled chicken, steak, salmon, seared scallops or whole roasted fish.
Escalivada (Smoky Slow-Roasted Vegetables)
This vegan side dish is traditionally served at room temperature with grilled meat or fish, but feel free to double your portion and eat it as a vegan entree with crusty bread for dipping in that garlicky, flavor-packed olive oil. The name for this combination of roasted vegetables comes from the Catalan escalivar, meaning to cook in ashes, though most folks these days use an oven or grill to put some char on their veggies.