One of the most delicious and simple ways to welcome guests is with an appetizer or snack platter. In fact, this one was so good, we made a meal of it. It’s my version of a mezze, typically a collection of small dishes served in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Balkan cuisine. The selection of dishes differs with each region, and mine may not be a truly authentic representation, but it includes some of my favorites.I made tabbouleh, a lovely herb salad, fortified with a little bulgur wheat. I prefer the traditional style, with lots of green leaves, and just a little grain. I stemmed, washed, dried, and hand-shredded a lot of parsley and mint for this one! This salad anchored the large platter, along with hummus, Greek dolmades, feta and olives, tomatoes, radishes, and marinated artichoke hearts.
I used a separate plate for the salami, which I garnished with tart, salty caper berries. Finally, I arranged sliced cucumber with its accompanying dip, tzatziki. Along with lots of pita bread wedges, it was a very satisfying snack meal.
Choose your favorite wine to serve alongside your platters and enjoy. It’s just about the easiest appetizer I have ever served. The recipe for tabbouleh can be found here. I didn’t change anything, except for the seasoning (I didn’t use allspice). Chef Ottolenghi gives a very thorough explanation of the proper way to make a tabbouleh, and if you haven’t tried it before, it will be a revelation. Use your imagination and build your platter with lots of fresh vegetables and herbs, olives and cheese, cured meat, pickled condiments, good bread, and several different dips. Set it all out, stand back, and wait for the compliments. Happy weekend all!