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Mezze Spread

Go ahead, invite people over. Our ready-to-host soirées are wow-worthy and delicious—and easy to pull off, we promise. Read on for recipes, chef’s tips, ta-da presentation tricks and shortcuts. Who’s going to have fun at this party? You.

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Mezze Spread
This Mediterranean-style feast sounds exotic, but really it’s just a casual way to graze. You can make the spreads from scratch or buy them ahead of time and garnish with fresh herbs and spices right before serving for a wow-worthy presentation. Pick your favorite platters and bowls to create a vibrant tablescape and showcase the spreads, finger foods and breads, then watch your guests mix and match flavors. Yes, this is meant to be a full meal—one that keeps the party interesting and fun.

Strike a cool note.

Minted Green Tea Cocktail served in footed cocktail glass on copper tray

Minted Green Tea Cocktail

Not only is mint a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, but the cooling sensation of this cocktail perfectly balances the complex flavors and spices of our mezze menu.

Put out a colorful spread.

Plate filled with foods from Mezze spread

Party Tip: Use a variety of dish sizes to present the food. It’s fine to mix and match colors and styles of dishes, too—it’ll up the visual interest of your table.

Mezze is all about wowing your guests with the sheer variety of colors, flavors and textures on the table. You can arrange the food on multiple large platters for bigger parties, or even display the entire menu on one large platter for a smaller group. Either way, it’s best to use ramekins and pinch bowls to separate the dips from one another and keep things tidy. See our suggestions.

Mezze dips on serving platters

Party Tip: All five of our dips can be made up to two days in advance. Prep early to avoid a pre-party scramble.

Traditional smearing around a bowl is a familiar and lively presentation of spreads. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil in the center along with sprinkles of sea salt and cayenne pepper.

Chef's Tip: Hold a bowl in the palm of your hand and add a dollop of spread. Rotate the bowl while using the back of a large spoon to smear the dip around the side of the bowl.

Yellow Squash and Feta Dip served in yellow squash

Garnish dips with items that show off the ingredients in each recipe—not only does it look pretty, it gives guests a clue about what they’re about to eat. For example, serve the Yellow Squash and Feta Dip inside a hollowed-out yellow squash for a fun pop of color.

Hollowed out yellow squash filled with Yellow Squash and Feta Dip

Place vegetable accompaniments and breads directly on platters between the various dips.

Mix it up with sides.

Crispy chickpeas on copper serving dish with a side salad

Crispy chickpeas, tomatoes paired with mint, olive oil and marinated olives all bring unexpected flavors and bright pops of color to this menu. Our recommendations for other sides include:

  • Crispy chickpeas
  • Pickled cauliflower
  • Pickled green string beans
  • Toasted pita bread
  • Marinated olives
  • Sliced fennel and fennel fronds
  • Pickled peppers

Chef's Tip: Pickled string beans and other vegetables can be store-bought and combined with tomatoes, nuts, cheese and spices to create an unexpected salad.

Tempt them with something hot.

Braised chicken in cream Le Creuset French Oven

When serving a mezze menu, we like to include a hot dish so guests don’t feel like they’ve missed the “entree.” The sweet-and-savory flavors of this braised chicken with dates, apricots, almonds and pickled peppers are cozy and satisfying without feeling heavy.

Keep dessert simply sweet.

Basmati Rice Budding served up in small glass bowls on a serving tray

This comforting Basmati Rice Pudding is just right for winding down an exciting night of flavors. Make it up to two days in advance, just like the dips, and store in your refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Spoon small portions into individual bowls for a charming presentation.

Find more CrateParty menus in the entertaining section of our blog, plus find everything you need to host on crateandbarrel.com.

Print Recipe
Minted Green Tea
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
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Servings
6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs mint plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons green tea leaves steeped in 2 cups of hot water for 5 minutes
  • 12 ounces vodka
  • preserved lemon sliced into small wedges
Servings
6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs mint plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons green tea leaves steeped in 2 cups of hot water for 5 minutes
  • 12 ounces vodka
  • preserved lemon sliced into small wedges
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. In small saucepan, combine honey, sugar and water over medium-high heat. Stir until simmering and sugar has dissolved. Add mint and pour into airtight container. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to develop.
  2. In large pitcher, combine equal parts honey syrup and green tea; add vodka and stir.
  3. Serve in rocks glasses over ice. Garnish each glass with preserved lemon wedge and mint sprig.

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Preserved Lemons
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Servings
4.5-5 cups
Ingredients
  • 8 lemons
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Optional spices:
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Star anise
Servings
4.5-5 cups
Ingredients
  • 8 lemons
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Optional spices:
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Star anise
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Instructions
  1. Cut each lemon lengthwise into quarters. Transfer lemons to large non-reactive mixing bowl. Toss with salt and sugar.
  2. If desired, season lemons with peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks or star anise to taste. Note: The more you add, the more flavor they will impart. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day, transfer lemons and all accumulated liquid to sterilized 1-liter canning jar, firmly pressing down lemons until completely submerged. Seal jar and refrigerate for at least 2 weeks and up to 6 months.
Recipe Notes

Using proper heat-activated canning techniques, you can jar the lemons to make them shelf-stable in your pantry for up to one year.

Use Meyer lemons for a less sour, more unique taste sensation.

Handmade jars of preserved lemon make a great party favor or gift idea!

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Carrot Tahini Spread
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Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 baby carrots thinly sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandoline
  • 4 large carrots roughly chopped, leafy tops reserved for garnish
  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large lemon juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 orange zested
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 baby carrots thinly sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandoline
  • 4 large carrots roughly chopped, leafy tops reserved for garnish
  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large lemon juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 orange zested
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Instructions
  1. Pickle carrot ribbons in Quick Pickling Liquid overnight.
  2. In fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté chopped carrots and ginger until golden brown. Deglaze pan with carrot juice, then cover and simmer until carrots are tender, 5–7 minutes.
  3. In food processor bowl, combine cooked carrots with tahini, lemon juice, cayenne and saffron; blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with carrot top leaves, pickled carrot ribbons and orange zest.

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Red Beet and Yogurt Dip
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Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 red beets cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/3 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 large lemon juiced
  • 1 golden beet cleaned and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 red beets cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/3 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 large lemon juiced
  • 1 golden beet cleaned and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drizzle red beets with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and wrap in foil. Roast until tender, 15–20 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel beets and roughly chop 2 1/2; dice remaining 1/2 into 1/4-inch cubes for garnish and set aside.
  2. In food processor bowl, combine chopped red beets and garlic; blend until smooth. Stir in yogurt and lemon juice.
  3. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with sliced golden beets and reserved diced red beets.

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Yellow Squash and Feta Dip
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 large shallots diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta plus extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Basil to garnish
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 large shallots diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta plus extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Basil to garnish
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Roughly chop 2 squash. In large fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat and cook squash, shallots and garlic until tender. Add wine and cook until vegetables are golden, 7–10 minutes.
  2. In food processor bowl, blend cooked vegetables until smooth. Stir in crumbled feta and 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut remaining squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Spoon squash mixture into hollowed-out squash halves and top with crumbled feta. Garnish each half with basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Roasted Garlic Hummus with Parsley Purée
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Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 cups Chickpeas drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3 large lemons juiced and divided
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 leaves bunches parsley leaves only
  • salt and pepper to taste
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 cups Chickpeas drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3 large lemons juiced and divided
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 leaves bunches parsley leaves only
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut about 1/4 inch off the head of garlic, exposing the top of each clove. Wrap garlic in foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel cloves.
  2. In food processor bowl, combine roasted garlic cloves, chickpeas, tahini, 6 tablespoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoons ice water; blend until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and blend again, adding more ice water if needed. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. In clean food processor bowl, pulse together almonds, remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil, remaining lemon juice and parsley. Process until pesto paste forms.
  4. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, swirl in parsley purée and garnish with parsley leaves and sliced almonds.

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Pomegranate Labneh
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Servings
1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup labneh
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Servings
1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup labneh
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
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Instructions
  1. Transfer labneh to serving bowl, drizzle with pomegranate molasses and scatter with pomegranate seeds. Serve.

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Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mint and Pita
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Servings
6
Ingredients
  • 3 pitas coarsely torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing pita
  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1/2 bunch mint coarsely torn
  • salt and pepper to taste
Servings
6
Ingredients
  • 3 pitas coarsely torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing pita
  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1/2 bunch mint coarsely torn
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange pita on baking sheet, brush with olive oil and toast until golden, 5–7 minutes.
  2. In serving bowl, combine tomatoes, mint and toasted pita. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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Braised Chicken
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Servings
6-8
Ingredients
For the chicken
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 boneless chicken thighs skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 18 dates
  • 24 dried apricots
For serving
  • Cooked pearl couscous
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted
  • Pickled peppers
  • Cilantro leaves torn
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
For the chicken
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 boneless chicken thighs skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 18 dates
  • 24 dried apricots
For serving
  • Cooked pearl couscous
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted
  • Pickled peppers
  • Cilantro leaves torn
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Instructions
  1. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, pomegranate molasses, lime juice, saffron, salt and pepper. Add chicken thighs and toss to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to develop.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and wipe off any excess. In large cast iron pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sear chicken in batches until golden on both sides, 4–6 minutes. Return all chicken thighs to pot, add dates and apricots, and cover halfway with chicken stock. Simmer for 45–60 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and tender.
  3. Serve with cooked pearl couscous and garnish with almonds, pickled peppers and cilantro.

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Basmati Rice Pudding
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Servings
6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon wildflower honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 orange peel thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup slivered pistachios
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon wildflower honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 orange peel thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup slivered pistachios
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Instructions
  1. In medium saucepan, combine basmati rice, whole milk, coconut milk, cloves, cinnamon stick, orange blossom water and honey over medium-high heat. Cook until rice is done.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. In same bowl, slowly add rice mixture to egg mixture and stir until just incorporated. Return mixture to medium saucepan over low heat and stir until thickened, 15–20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Divide pudding into individual cups or ramekins and refrigerate until cool.
  3. In small saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water over medium-high heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Continue cooking until mixture is toffee-colored. Stir in orange peel slices to quickly coat. Pour mixture onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out orange peel slices and cool 10–15 minutes.
  4. Top cooled rice puddings with candied orange peel slices and pistachios.

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