We recently had an event at the Africa Pride Boutique hotel – Audacia Manor, and were looking around for ideas on what we could serve as our Canopy’s (starters). We needed something that was simple , fuss free and would remain fresh with minimal time needed for plating.
We finally came up of with the idea to serve a Mezze platter, since part of our venue courtyard had a Tuscan look to it. The Mezze platter Referred to as the Mediterranean Mezze, the Middle Eastern Mezza or the Lebanese Mezze platter, is made up of an assortment of many different things such as hummus, baba ghanoush, pita’s, bread sticks , olives, feta, cracks, and many other wonderful breads and slices.
The definition of mezze according to people of the Mediterranean is basically this: small plates for sharing. Some, including myself, might think of mezze dishes as appetizers, tapas or antipasti. But, if you’ve been to Greece, Turkey, Lebanon or parts of the eastern Mediterranean, you probably know that mezze is far more than appetizers; it is often a meal in its own right.
There are many different assortments that can be placed on a mezze platter, and different ways to serve it up. We decided to use Wooden Boards , Mezze platters are usually accompanied with drinks, we opted for chilled appetisers.
To make your own platter, just mix and match foods to your liking.
- Grilled pitas
- Sliced cucumbers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Grilled zucchini and other veggies
- Pickled vegetables
- Peppadew peppers
- Pickled peppers
- Fried potatoes with lemon
- Roasted red peppers
Dips & spreads
- Tzatziki sauce
- Roasted pepper & feta salad
- Marinated feta (or plain)
- Bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
- Mixed olives
- Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) (vegetarian)
- Marinated artichoke hearts
These are not all the items which can be placed on your mezze platter, they are just a few, but it will give you an idea on what to start with.
As you can see from the Images, we did quite a few mezze platters and used a delicious Assortment of Hummus. These platters always add to the sense of occasion and allow guests to mingle.
We used a delicious red pepper hummus recipe , which I will share below.
RED PEPPER HUMMUS Ingredients
- ¾ cup roasted red peppers
- 3 ½ 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup tahini paste
- 2 tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
- ¾ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- Warm water as needed
Roast your red peppers for 20-25 minutes still they are nicely charred and soft.
If using canned chickpeas, drain them and rinse them. If using dried chickpeas, drain and rinse them after soaking, then simmer them in lightly salted water on the stovetop for 60-90 minutes until soft and tender. Drain the beans and allow to cool to room temperature.
Combine roasted peppers, chickpeas, tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices in the processor.
Pulse the ingredients for about 60 seconds, then process until smooth. If mixture seems too thick, add warm water a tablespoon at a time and blend until desired consistency is reached. Taste the mixture and add more salt, lemon juice, cayenne or garlic to taste. Process again to blend any additional ingredients.
Pour into a serving bowl and chill thoroughly before stirring. Hummus will firm up slightly as it chills. Goes great with grilled pita bread, pita chips, crackers.