In this and the following two chapters, you will find many of my very favorite dishes. Days can go by without my eating a “main course,” as I am often happier eating assorted salads and what we call (and rightly so) appetizers. I can’t imagine life without tasty tidbits spread on good bread, and the pleasure of eating with my fingers. I am not grazing—I am dining. What I love best about these foods are the contrasts: tart and sweet, crunch and creaminess, spicy and cool.
In the Mediterranean, people do not eat their meals in set courses. There are times when all you may feel like eating is a large salad, or decide to make a salad and a cheese dish your entire meal. There is no need to stay tied to the American three-course meal when we are in the Mediterranean mode!