It’s hard to choose the thing I love most about a mezze spread, but if I had to pick, it would be the sheer variety of flavors and textures. The different veggies range from snappy to crunchy, the pita is chewy yet soft, and the dips are everything from super smooth to chunky. The beauty of a mezze platter is that none are exactly alike, but the one thing they have in common is that they’re always a symphony of texture and flavor. They are my favorite choice as a starter for any get together, since they’re super customizable by nature. Your guests can choose what they like and skip what they don’t without having to tell you they don’t like something you’ve served them. Happy guests, happy host!
I think the dips are the star of the show here, and first up, we have fava. The word fáva (φάβα) in Greek actually refers to yellow split peas, and the dish itself is known as fava, rather than hummus (thus the translation issue of most assuming fava is made with fava beans!). The yellow split pea is grown everywhere in Greece, but Santorini is most famous for their cultivation. Fava is earthier and much more subtle than hummus, and I think you’ll love this classic variation if you’ve only had the chickpea version. Next, we have tzatziki, which is actually a variation on Indian raita, and ironically, the ONLY two ways I will voluntarily consume yogurt! Tzatziki is garlicky, bright, and herby, and a perfect compliment to anything spicy on your platter. Finally, the baba ghanoush, which is made from roasted, charred eggplant, and lends the dip delicious smokiness and a perfect, velvety texture. It’s a great way to try eggplant if you think you don’t like it!
For the accompaniments, I love to add a fresh, herby tabbouleh and classic Greek grape leaves; they meld with the flavors of the platter beautifully but are also delicious all their own. There’s such a wide variety of options for mezze that you can’t possibly include them all in one platter, so always build yours based off of what you like best or what you have on hand. Some other ideas that would be great here are my Beef Souvlaki Kabobs for some extra protein, or my Homemade Pita Bread, but with these delectable dips, your platter will be a crowd please no matter what!