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Craving a taste of the Mediterranean, Middle East, or North Africa? Discover how to make the ultimate Mezze Platter, a global cousin to a charcuterie board or antipasto platter, for a taste of the region right in the comfort of your own home.
“Meze” translates to “snack,” and that’s exactly what this platter provides. An array of tapas-sized bites for you and your family or dinner party guests to nibble on for hours.
Each bite can be a new experience and you can assemble a very well-rounded meal with the hearty dips, fresh vegetables, and craveable carbs.
Read on and I’ll walk you through exactly how to assemble your own mezze platter.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Whip up all the dips.
Create some anchor points on the board with bowls of your favorite dips, sauces, and spreads.
Creamy and satisfying, Hummus might be the most well-known Mediterranean appetizer. The key to the ultimate hummus is to start with dried chickpeas and remove their skins. And for an extra-special Midwestern twist on this classic, try a drizzle of clarified butter and a sprinkle of Za’atar spice.
If you love olives, you’ll love the salty, briny flavor of this Tapenade spread. I love to eat it on fresh bread or toasted baguette slices, something with a neutral flavor profile that doesn’t compete with tapenade.
Smoky, savory, and pleasantly-spicy Roasted Eggplant Dip makes an appearance on every mezze platter I make. It’s one of my favorite “accidentally healthy recipes” that tastes rich but is hiding loads of vegetables My recipe is inspired by an eggplant spread from Ina Garten; I happen to think my tweaks make the dip even better.
This easy Tzatziki is a nice cold component on your Mezze platter and simply delicious with vegetables or warm pita bread. Or, try labneh (a strained yogurt product) with olive oil and fresh herbs swirled in.
Step 2: Accessorize with appetizers.
Arrange your favorite Mediterranean appetizers, like Greek dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), marinated artichoke hearts, olives, and fresh figs, in piles around the bowls.
Invest 5 minutes in preparing this Marinated Feta that will make everyone swoon (and possibly fight over the last bite, fair warning!). Infused with fresh herbs and crushed red pepper flakes, it’s a beautiful buddy to a pita wedge or simply snacked on as-is.
These buttery, flakey Spanakopita Triangles are filled with spinach and 3 cheeses and take your mezze platter from semi-homemade to gourmet.
Step 3: Fill in spaces with dippers.
Fill in the gaps on your Mezze platter with Pita Bread, Pita Chips, or Crostini and plenty of fresh vegetables like cucumber sticks, heirloom baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes (preferably still on the stem). If you can find fresh figs, they are so perfect on this platter, quartered or halved depending on the size.
Pillowy Homemade Pita Bread is the ultimate vehicle to transport the upcoming dips and sauces to your taste buds. And it’s okay to keep your inner baker at bay and opt for store-bought pita bread, too!
Fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, discover how to make my Homemade Pita Chips in just 20 minutes using your favorite herbs and spices. A necessity for any Mezze Platter!
For an alternative to pita, make simple, delicious toasted baguette slices (crostini). Just brush with olive oil and bake until golden brown. For extra credit, rub each slice with a whole, peeled clove of garlic (a little goes a long way).
Step 4: Add your finishing touches.
Garnish with spices, herbs, and olive oil. And, add forks, spreaders, and picks where needed.
Dukkah, a nut and seed mix, is one of the key flavor- and texture-boosters in Middle Eastern and Arabic cooking. Since it’s ideal sprinkled on oil-brushed pita or atop a variety of dips, start your mezze platter at the mortar and pestle to grind up this aromatic mix.
Bread dipping oil is deceptively easy. Anyone can mix oil and spices, but you need a recipe that shines on its own and exceeds your hopes and dreams. My favorite blend of high-quality olive oil, balsamic, and spices will do just that.
- 8 ounces hummus
- 8 ounces tapenade
- 8 ounces eggplant dip
- 1 (12-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts drained (see note 1)
- 8 ounces marinated feta drained (see note 2)
- 8 ounces marinated olives drained (see note 3)
- 1 (6-ounce) package dolma (stuffed grape leaves)
- 4 pita cut into 8 triangles each
- 1 (18-ounce) bag pita chips
- 1 pound Persian cucumbers cut into sticks
- 1 bunch carrots halved or crinkle cut
- 1 bunch cherry tomatoes on the vine (about 1 pound)
- 4 figs cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup dukkah
- bread dipping oil
- On a large board or serving platter, create some anchor points with bowls of your favorite dips, sauces, and spreads such as hummus, tapenade, and eggplant dip.
- Add bowls or piles of appetizers, like artichoke hearts, marinated feta cheese, olives, and Greek dolma (stuffed grape leaves).
- Fill in the gaps with soft pita bread, crunchy pita chips, and plenty of fresh vegetables like cucumber sticks, heirloom baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes (preferably still on the stem). Add quartered fresh figs, if you can find them.
- Garnish with a bowl of Dukkah or other spices, fresh herbs, and olive oil for dipping and drizzling. And, add forks, spreaders, and picks where needed.
- Homemade Marinated Artichoke Hearts: In a medium-sized jar with a lid, combine the juice from 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to emulsify the marinade. Drain 1 (14-ounce) can of quartered artichoke hearts, and add to jar. Reseal lid and continue shaking until artichokes are coated with marinate. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 days.
- Homemade Marinated Feta: In a medium bowl, mix together ¾ cup olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional). Cut 1 (8-ounce) package of feta into ¼ inch pieces, add to bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to blend flavor, up to 4 days.
- Homemade Marinated Olives: Thoroughly rinse 1 cup of brine-cured green olives with pits and 1 cup black brine-cured olives with pits. Pat dry using a paper towel. In a medium bowl, toss the olives with ¾ cup olive oil, 1 minced shallot, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, 2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 4 days. Allow to sit at room temperature 30 minutes prior to serving.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.