Even if you’ve never heard the word mezze before, you probably already love mezze foods: Stuffed grape leaves! Olives! Pita bread! Hummus! Lots and lots of hummus.
Mezze is an assortment of snacking foods enjoyed in countries around the eastern Mediterranean. A typical platter will feature a mix of fresh and pickled veggies, dips and spreads, and bread. You could make a mini version for an easy lunch or dinner, or put together a larger assortment for serving at get togethers. In the warmer months, mezze are an especially good option for a lighter snack that fits in with the season’s easy-breezy vibes—you can leave the cheese boards or game day bites for fall and winter, when rich, in-you-face comfort foods are more appropriate.
Plan your masterful mezze platter with our tips below, then shop everything you need to fill it up here on FreshDirect.
Assembling Your Mezze Platter
1. Choose Your Dips
We like to start with the dips because they’ll set the tone for everything else you decide to add on. You can pick just one for a smaller platter, but a bigger assortment can handle a few. Classic options include:
2. Crudité All the Way
Now that you’ve picked out your dips, lets find a few fresh vegetables for scooping them up. Sliced cucumbers and celery have a coolness that works well with creamy items like yogurt or labneh. For more savory spreads like baba ghanoush or olive tapenade, we like the sturdy crispness of carrots or cauliflower. Other options include radishes, fennel, grape tomatoes, radicchio, sliced beets, snap peas, bell peppers, and gem lettuce leaves—if you can eat it raw, it’s fair game!
3. Get In a Pickle
Pickled, preserved, and brined items add an essential tangy contrast to everything else on your platter—you could say they’re where the flavor lives. Mediterranean cuisines are full of delicacies that fit the bill, but some of our favorites are:
4. Cheese, Please
Although not mandatory, a few cheesy bites will only make things better. Crumbled feta is the most obvious choice, but you could also consider fresh mozzarella, seared halloumi (or another grilling cheese), or chevre.
5. Add a Protein Or Two
Although the veggies and dips are really the star of the show here, a few meats, tinned seafood, or plant-based proteins can absolutely join the mezze party. A few mini meatballs or grilled kofte skewers will fit right in with the Mediterranean theme, or you could go for some sardines and anchovies to take things in more of a tapas direction. And don’t forget your vegetarian options: falafel patties and eggplant balls are just a couple delicious additions.
6. Get Ready To Scoop
Now that you’ve got your light bites, you’ll need a vehicle for transporting them into your mouth. Pita is the traditional choice here—especially warmed up and griddled. Lavash is also nice for creating something of a mini mezze roll up. Or you can opt for pita chips, tortas, or crackers to optimize the crunch factor. Whichever breads you choose, you’ll want to have plenty on hand. The last thing you want is tons of toppings with nothing to put them on!
Put It All Together
There are no hard rules for how to assemble your spread, but there are a few tricks we like to use. First, grab your platter (a cutting board or similar will also work). Take your dips and put them in small ramekins toward the center. Then, arrange your veggies, pickles, proteins, and cheese in their own individual piles around them. Lastly, tuck in your bread or crackers around the rest for easy grabbing. If you like, you can drizzle a little olive oil or sprinkled some fresh chopped herbs over the whole thing to give it a little something extra.
Not up to the task of building your own platter? Order a prepared mezze selection from the FreshDirect kitchen to entertain effortlessly at your celebrations.