Mezze platters are a delicious and diverse dining experience.
Known for including an assortment of small dishes, they are the perfect way to feed your family or a crowd. And everyone can simply choose what they like.
The awesome thing is, you can take advantage of local ingredients and mix in some international flavours to make it a truly special meal.
So, how do you build the ultimate mezze platter to fill hungry tummies and put smiles on faces?
Here’s our step-by-step guide!
How To Build The Ultimate Mezze Platter
Think about what you are going to put your mezze on. There are going to be a bunch of food varieties, so large platters or wooden boards are a great choice. Some people even choose to build their mezze right down the middle of the table on a run of brown paper. The choice is yours based on aesthetics and practicality!
You’ll also need some small bowls or dishes to separate the wetter items from the dry and to put your dips in. Because let’s face it, it ain’t a mezze unless there are lots of dips! When assembling your mezze platter, make sure there is a good balance of colours and textures so it looks as good as it tastes.
2: Build The Base
The first thing you need to do is build a foundation. So, start with a selection of base ingredients that will be the foundation of both your platter and the bites your family will put together. Popular mezze foundation ingredients are:
- Freshly baked pita bread (either soft and warm, or fried/baked for a crunch)
- Garlic bread
- A variety of crackers or bread sticks
3: Add The Dips And Spreads
As we just said, mezze is not mezze without a bunch of tasty dips to spread on everything! Offering a selection will mean that you can create a diverse menu really easily.
Here are some traditional (and more Kiwi) dipping options:
- Hummus (traditional is always a favourite, but so are flavoured options like garlic or capsicum)
- Tzatziki (cucumber and mint yoghurt dip)
- Smoky Baba Ghanoush
- Toum (Garlic Dip)
- Tarator (Tahini Sauce)
- Avocado Dip
- Pesto (either classic basil or sundried tomato)
- Local honey
- Fruit jams or pastes
4: Get Cheesy
Here’s where you can introduce a delicious local element to your mezze platter. Cheese! New Zealand boasts some amazingly delicious cheese options and they all go great on a platter.
Try some of these cheeses:
- Feta (either traditional or marinated)
- Soft Brie or Camembert
- Aged Gouda or Cheddar
- Sharp Blue cheese
- Flavoured cream cheese
- Any other favourites (don’t forget to mix up to texture to have some that are soft, some crumbly and some firm)
5: Bring The Beef (And Other Meats)
We certainly don’t have any beef with Mezze! But, a selection of meats round out the flavour profile on the platter and add some protein. You can choose to add warm or cold meat options.
Here’s some ideas:
- Salami or Chorizo
- Prosciutto or Parma ham
- Chicken Shawarma
- Meatballs or Kofta
- Marinated lamb
- Meat and onion skewers
- Marinated Chicken nibbles
- Any other family favourites
6: Make It Vegetarian
Meat is not a necessary inclusion for Mezze, you can make it a vegetarian platter instead. Simply skip the meat and incorporate a mixture of vegetarian options like:
- Cherry tomatoes or vine ripened tomatoes
- Cucumber slices or sticks
- Roasted red peppers
- Sundried tomatoes
- Artichoke hearts
- Pickled veggies like turnips
7: Go Nuts
Nuts are a great way to add some crunch and interest to a mezze platter. Almonds, walnuts or pistachios are all great options. You can balance the crunch with some sweetness and add a selection of dried fruit like apricots, figs or dates.
8: Something’s Fishy!
NZ also has some amazing seafood delicacies that will be the perfect addition to your platter. These are especially good if you have access to fresh options, but supermarket varieties are good too.
How about some:
- Grilled or smoked salmon
- Ceviche or other marinated seafood
9: Don’t Forget The Flavour
Garnishes don’t just look good, they can add to the flavours on your platter too. Sprinkle fresh herbs for some colour. Mint leaves, fresh basil and parsley all look and taste great. And don’t forget to include the traditional Lebanese spice blend Za’atar atop some of your dips or bread.
10: Accompany With Drinks
With all that tasty food, your guests are going to be thirsty! So, you are going to need some drinks. Pair with wine, beer, or refreshing non-alcoholic drinks like lemonade or juice. Don’t forget the traditional rich, dark coffee for after your meal also.
Building the ultimate mezze platter is all about creating variety and sharing. So, provide a bunch of different options and get creative! The above list is just a suggestion of what to put on your mezze, but feel free to let your imagination run wild.
When eating, encourage everyone to try different combinations and savour the diverse flavours. It’s a chance to take a culinary journey embracing local and traditional components. To stock up on tasty options for your next mezze platter, head to our online store now.