Go big or go home…that’s my motto. Well not really, but when it comes to the Ultimate Mediterranean Appetizer Platter it definitely applies!
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Pretty fabulous right? And so good for you! All kinds of savory, salty, and spicy goodness with some sweet relief provided by fruit makes this the platter everyone at the party will be flocking to. And the best part is a lot of it is assembly only! Don’t have a big enough board? Find a large wooden serving board here.
Let’s break down what I included and then we will get to the recipes.
We bring the heat with some fresh uber creamy crumbled feta drizzled with olive oil and mixed with minced jalepeno! Spread on pita or a chip for a spicy treat. Of course if spicy isn’t your bag try feta with sun dried tomatoes for a savory twist. That cube of cheese in between the two is greek feta sprinkled with greek oregano. These cheeses were all found in the deli section at my local Sprouts and Whole Foods Markets.
I am a huge fan of gouda (because it’s soooo gouda). Here I use raw gouda from grass fed cows and gouda aged five years, it tastes like caramel and cheese rolled into one! And last but not least soft goat cheese topped with fig spread (a favorite I have shared before on my No Fuss Appetizer Platter). Spread it on you favorite cracker and yum!
The Hummus, Olives, Tapenade and Bacon Wrapped Dates
Homemade Sun Dried Tomato Hummus (recipe below) is perfect for dipping with pita and a variety veggies!
And the the bacon… oh the bacon! Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates are a huge hit at every party and much easier to make than you’d think. And down there in the right bottom corner…that is my homemade black olive tapenade. (recipes below)
Of course no Mediterranean appetizer platter would be complete without an assortment of olives.You can usually find these in the deli section of almost any grocery store.
The Fruits, Veggies and Breads:
To counter all the savory, salty and spicy goodness above we add sliced pears, cantaloupe (alone and wrapped in prosciutto), grapes, Persian cucumbers (smaller than their American cousins and the skin can be left on!) sliced carrots and colorful cherry tomatoes. Of course you need something to spread all this amazingness on… so supply an ample amount of sliced toasted baguette, your favorite crackers, flatbreads, chips and pita.
How To Make It Look Pretty:
With all this incredible color you don’t have to do much to make this board gorgeous, but I do have some tips: First, find a large wooden serving board you love, after all this is the Ultimate Mediterranean Appetizer Platter, size matters! Arrange lettuce leaves around the edges of the board to garnish and serve as a ‘platform’ for fruits and veggies. Begin by arranging the items that have more staying power, the sliced Persian cucumber, carrots, olives, hummus, and grapes. Then shortly before guests arrive add cheeses, and last add sliced fruit, crackers, breads and bacon wrapped dates straight out of the oven. Then set out some cheese knives and let your friends have at it! Important tip: set out small portions of everything you make and replenish as the food disappears. That way you keep it fresh throughout the party!
The Recipes: The Ultimate Mediterranean Appetizer Platter
What you will need: a large wooden serving board, cheese knives and for making hummus and tapenade a food processor. I use Maldon flaked sea salt. My favorite crackers are Leslie Stowe Raincoast Crisps. If you can’t find Adriatic Fig Spread at your grocery store, have it delivered to your door!
- For Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
- 1 - 16 oz can garbanzo beans, no liquid
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes in oil and herbs (and more for garnish)
- ⅓-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (start with ⅓ and add more if needed, I usually add)
- juice of ½ a small lemon
- sea salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts (for garnish)
- For Black Olive Tapenade:
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 - 15oz can black olives
- 2 Tablespoons fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
- juice of half a small lemon
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- For hummus:
- Place drained garbanzo beans and tomatoes in the food processor. Give it a whirl. Add lemon juice through top and process. Add olive oil. Process, add a pinch of sea salt. Check the consistency and add more olive oil a little at a time if needed. When hummus is the right consistency, taste. Add more salt of necessary. Place in a bowl and garnish with chopped sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Serve with sliced Persian cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, flatbreads, pita chips, tortilla chips etc.
- For Tapenade:
- Place garlic in processor and pulse till minced. Add all other ingredients and process till olives are evenly chopped forming a course paste. Serve on bread and crackers.
- 20 Medjool dates, pitted
- 4 oz soft goat cheese
- 10 strips of thin sliced bacon, cut in half
- brown sugar
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet.
- Slice dates almost end to end. Pull out pit. Use a small spoon to put a little goat cheese into date. Wrap with half a slice of bacon and run a toothpick through (side to side) to hold bacon on place. Place on parchment cover cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove toothpicks, serve.
- Variations: Before baking roll in brown sugar or sprinkle with sea salt. If you want a spicy bacon wrapped date, mince jalepeno and add a teaspoon or two to the goat cheese before filling dates.
- Cantaloupe slices alone and wrapped in prosciutto, green and purple grapes, fresh pears, sliced, and assortment of olives.
- Breads and Crackers:
- Sliced toasted baguettes, crackers, pita (fresh and chips), tortilla chips
- Aged gouda and raw gouda cut into cubes.
- Greek feta sprinkled with Mediterrean oregano
- Soft goat cheese topped with fig spread (link above) I always have the deli cut about 4 oz off a log of fresh soft goat cheese.
- Fresh crumbled feta (preferably sheep's milk) :
- 8 oz feta, mix with chopped jalepeno (start with a teaspoon and add more to taste) or mix with chopped sun dried tomatoes to taste. I also like to combine the two! Tomatoes and jalepeno together.
- Drizzle cheese mixture with extra version olive oil and use to spread on crackers, or as a dip for chips or pita.
Talk About Good Timing:
As I finished taking pictures of this beautiful board I invited my neighbor to come over with a plate to take some home with her. Turns out she was on her way to a party at a friends house. I gave her the whole platter. It pays to be my neighbor. ~ Linda Spiker
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