Found throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East, Mezze, or meze, is a selection of small plates and savoury dishes, made to be shared alongside any main meal.
Bursting with flavours from all over the world, mezze can just as easily be enjoyed as the main snack board supper itself, or an all-day grazing board, if you’re no longer subscribing to the idea of breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s us! Mealtimes have blurred into one big all you can eat lockdown buffet anyway, right?
Whoever you’re sharing your house with right now, this smorgasbord of
delights is one way to enjoy a sociable and leisurely meal at home while lingering in the garden or playing games around the table. Grab a plate and get stuck in!
Assembling your Mezze
The mezze experience is as much about the visual feast as it is about the taste but that doesn’t mean you have to be pedantic about presentation. You are the architect of your own mezze masterpiece. As long as it’s colourful, plentiful and served on the biggest platter you can find, you’re doing it right.
All of these ingredients can be purchased in your weekly shop, so if pre-prepared and low maintenance is the way you want to go with mealtimes, mezze’s your main guy.
Dips & sauces
No mezze is complete without party dips and sauces. Load up your platter with houmous and tzatziki – decant them into bowls and nestle them in amongst the rest of your ingredients to make for easy dipping.
To spruce up your shop-bought houmous, make a swirl pattern using the back of a spoon and add a drizzle of olive oil and some pine nuts. Your household will never know it’s pre-made!
Like little mouthfuls of the Med, mixed olives, pickles and nuts are the best accompaniment for any mezze spread.
Meats like dry-cured prosciutto and salami are delicious with olives and bread. You can also try prosciutto-wrapped asparagus – finger food at its best!
Serve a variety of bread, Lavash or warm toasted pittas with a generous bowl of dipping oil and balsamic vinegar.
Add some crunchy crudités to your platter with raw carrots, roasted asparagus spears and sweet red & yellow peppers.
Once you’ve assembled your mezze, fill in any little gaps on your platter with clusters of fruit and veg. Grapes make for a great palette cleanser after you’ve been up for second helpings of salty cheese and salami.
Throw in in those Mediterranean flavours with marinated sun-dried tomatoes – perfect for complementing that tangy feta.
Feta and mozzarella balls are the best choices for a Mediterranean mezze but halloumi or whatever you’ve got in your fridge will work just as well.
Simply delicious served on flatbread with a generous dollop of fresh yogurt or tahini dip. So simple, so good.
To finish, decorate your spread with a few fresh sprigs of rosemary – not only does it smell great, but it also adds texture and visual interest against the backdrop of all the vibrant mezze colours.
And there you have it, a foodie’s masterpiece! Drizzle and dunk to your heart’s content.