See this picture right here? This is summer on a plate. At least, to me it is. Summers around here are the absolute best – the kids aren’t over-scheduled, there are no bedtimes or morning alarm clocks, and my work allows me lots of flexibility to enjoy the season. We have amazing neighbors who, over the years, have become friends, and it’s a pretty common sight to look out the back windows on any given day and see one of them doing a cannonball into our pool. At dinner time, we all grab whatever we have in the fridge and bring it to someone’s grill (usually ours), pop open some bottles of wine, eat and relax. A Greek Mezze Platter is one of my favorite ways to relax and enjoy the slower pace of summer, because the less actual cooking the better.
You can prep a Greek Mezze Platter earlier in the day and just pop it out of the fridge when you’re ready for it. My favorite mezze platters have olives, crunchy veggies, cubes of feta cheese and dips made with fresh ingredients. Lemony Hummus with Crispy Chickpeas and Tzatziki are must-haves. If you have the time and the inclination to make fresh pita bread, it’s totally worth it. But honestly, in the summer, I’m all about ease. So I grab pocketless pita from the supermarket and cut it into triangles. Why pocketless? Because it’s much softer and more pillowy than regular pita.
Our local supermarket has a great Mediterranean bar, which I see more and more in supermarkets. So I’ll fill a container with an assortment of Greek olives and maybe some cornichons. Also, any fresh veggies you like can be thrown onto a Greek Mezze Platter. I do this especially for my one neighbor and bestie who has Celiac disease and can’t enjoy the pita. Cut raw zucchini, bell peppers or cucumber into sticks for dipping.
Keep it easy and seasonal, and just load up the platter with whatever you like. Prep the dips and assemble the platter in the morning, cover it over with plastic wrap and bring it out when you’re ready. I love to pair a Greek Mezze Platter with a chilled bottle of Vinho Verde or Pino Gris, and if you’re more of a red drinker, a Zinfandel would be perfect. It’s best enjoyed outdoors, as all good things are in the summer. Enjoy!