Vegetarian Mezze Feast

Vegetarian Mezze Feast
Sonja_For The Pleasure Of Eating

Hey There!

Lovely to meet you!

I’m Sonja and “For The Pleasure Of Eating” is my food blog.

Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds or discover new recipes, my blog is the perfect place to find ideas that impress your family and friends while creating a party in your mouth!

More about me and how I lost weight here.

 

If you have been following along with my last eight recipes, you already have a good idea of how this Vegetarian Mezze Feast will look like. We are combining all of those delicious dips and snacks into one stunning spread that is worthy of any holiday or festivity. The fact that it’s vegetarian is an added bonus, and I’m pretty sure no carnivore will even waste a thought on the meat, once they see all the stunning variety on offer.

Why You Want to Make This

Absolutely Delicious

I mean, of course that’s the main priority of any feast, isn’t it? Each part on its own is a treat, but combined they form a huge spread no one will be able to resist. Stunning to look at too.

 

Variety

There is something for everyone here: Creamy Hummus in two versions plain and Beetroot, easy cooling and crunchy Tzatziki, Bright red and fruity Muhammara made from roasted peppers and walnuts, a Smoky Aubergine dip with Greek yoghurt, extra creamy and easy to make Labneh that can be transformed into a roasted garlic version with lemon. And those are just the dips!

Vegetarian Mezze Feast

 

We have Sourdough Flatbread filled with Feta, as a delicious vehicle for all those dips or Sourdough Discard Naan, as a super soft and fluffy alternative and to use as wrap for the Falafel. Or maybe you want to make them both? I sure couldn’t decide.

Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

And of course home made Falafel in two versions: Plain and Beetroot. Easier than you think, coming together mostly from Pantry staples, they are a crunch and fluffy treat you just have to try.

Vegan Falafel Wraps

To complete all the deliciousness, there is a super quick Cucumber-Tomato salad with fresh parsley that comes together in 5 minutes, an Orange Thyme Tahini dressing (Optional, as you could use hummus), to drizzle over your Falafel and some extra quick marinated Feta, because what would a Middle Eastern Feast be without feta, right?

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Cucumber_Tomato Salad

And what do you serve with all those dips? I used lots of vegetables for dipping, some dried fruits and nuts, some fresh fruits and ready made things like olives and filled sweet peppers. But your imagination is the limit here. That’s the beauty of this feast: You can make it into whatever you enjoy most.

Healthy

Now if the variety above hasn’t convinced you just yet, let me give you some of the health benefits to win you over. And remember, this is for a proper Mezze Feast. Can you think of any other feast with this many health benefits? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Hummus, being made from mainly chickpeas, is a great source of protein, which we all need in our diet for building muscle and bone health.

Hummus Two Ways_Beetroot_Ingredients

Tzatziki is based on Greek Yoghurt with cucumber and garlic. Again protein from the yogurt, together with gut healthy bacteria and calcium. So is Labneh, which is basically strained Greek yoghurt, resulting in a delicious spreadable consistency similar to cream cheese, but with the tang of yoghurt.

Easy Tzatziki_Ingredients

Both the Smoked Aubergine Dip and Muhammara are vegetable based, including fibre, vitamins, and whole range of other benefits. So ideally you eat at least 5 different veggies per day. I usually aim for at least 8, which has helped my weight loss a lot.

Smoked Aubergine Dip _Ingredients

Muhammara Ingredients

Falafel, again being made from chickpeas, is a fantastic source of protein and fibre and several micro nutrients like magnesium and folate.
I’m deep frying it here, because, after all, this is a feast, and we don’t eat it every day. But you could bake it in the oven or air fryer, if you’d like to eat it on a more regular basis and am watching your weight.

Now surely the flatbreads can’t be healthy, can they? They can, within reason, if made with sourdough as I am doing here.
Sourdough has many benefits, among them a lower glycemic index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar, good gut bacteria and easier digestibility, important for those with gluten sensitivity.

Sourdough Naan

And of course all the vegetables you serve to scoop up those delicious dips and the Cucumber- Tomato-Salad! This Mezze Feast is sure to have you hit your 5-a-day easily and enjoy it!

Easy to Prepare Ahead of Time

I was about to say this is the best part, but honestly, I can’t really decide which one is, so I’ll leave it to you to pick a favourite.
Anyway, important for the potentially stressful holidays: You can prepare most of the parts well ahead of time.

All the dips can be made one to two days in advance and keep happily in the fridge until ready to serve.

The Sourdough Naan and Sourdough Flatbread with Feta even get better, if you prepare the dough the day before. Or up to 2 days if you like. You could even get well ahead and freeze the dough balls, to just defrost, roll out and fry on the day. Just don’t add the feta before freezing.

Sourdough Naan

Same for the Falafel: Soak the chickpeas 2 days before, make the dough 1 day before, fry freshly just for a few minutes short before serving.

And all the chopped veggies? I tend to prepare them and store in separate lidded containers in the fridge, which keeps them fresh for a few days.

Flexible

And if all the above wasn’t enough and you feel that’s just way too much work, you could just buy some of the parts ready made and make others yourself. Or only pick a few bits instead of all.

Hummus tends to be available in most supermarkets these days, though not the quality you can make at home of course. Honestly, once you tried that incredibly creamy homemade version, you will wonder what you even did all your life, eating those ready made tubs, it’s just so much better.

Hummus Two Ways

Same with Tzatziki. You can often get it from shops, but those tend to contain preservatives, which give a rather weird sour flavour. Plus it just takes 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to make, so it’s hardly worth buying and so much better.

Similar goes for the Flatbread and Falafel, though of course those do take a bit more time. So if you have a really good middle eastern shop close by, it could be easier and reasonably tasty to buy them.
In Hanover I had a huge all-year market hall close by, where I could get all kinds of delicious freshly made and exotic treats, including some fluffy Turkish flatbread, which would be great with this spread. If you have access to that, it’s a perfect alternative.

 

The Ingredients

 

Considering the huge variety of dips and sides here, I’ll spare you a ramble about all of the ingredients, especially since I have listed the main ones above already including their benefits. You’ll find details about themn in each recipe.

But what I will do in this post, is to give you a full shopping list for all of them, if indeed you’d like to make the full Mezze Feast and would like an easy printable.
That way you have less hassle with the planning and can get ahead of the busy holidays.

The Recipe Links

Hummus Two Ways

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Hummus Beetroot

Easy Tzatziki

Easy Tzatziki

Muhammara

Vegetarian Mezze Feast

Smoked Aubergine Dip

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Smoked Aubergine Dip

Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

Sourdough Discard Naan

Vegan Falafel Wraps

Vegan Falafel Wraps 

Vegan Falafel Wraps

What Fruit and Vegetables to Serve This With

You can get as creative as you’d like, but here is what I used:

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Fruit and Veggies

– Cherry tomatoes
– Mini cucumbers
– Mini peppers
– Radishes
– Carrots
– Fennel

Fruit
– Grapes
– Medjool dates
– Dried figs

Nuts

– Toasted almonds
– Toasted walnuts
– Pistachios

Sides

Black Olives
Green Olives
Feta filled sweet peppers
Filled wine leaves

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_sides

The Process

Now this tends to be the place to give you all the steps to prepare a recipe. But those are already in each recipe and would be a bit overwhelming to have in one list. So I will mainly give you a timeline on what recipe to start when, plus the extra quick Marinated Feta.

Marinated Feta

Let’s start with the quickest recipe of the bunch, Marinated Feta.
Get one or two blocks of good quality feta that you generally enjoy. Cut it in ½ in/1cm cubes and add to a fitting container you have a lid for.

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Marinated Feta Ingredients
In a small bowl, mix 2 -4 tbsp olive oil with 1-2 tbsp Za’atar (depending on the amount of feta blocks you decided to use). Pour the mixture over the feta cubes and gently mix, to coat them. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be done up to 3 days in advance and the flavour will only improve. And your first recipe is done.

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Marinated Feta

The Timeline

 

3 days before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

– Get your shopping done

2 days before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

– Soak the Chickpeas for your Falafel and, if starting from dried chickpeas instead of canned, for your Hummus.
– Start the dough for your Sourdough flatbread either 1 or 2 days in advance, to get ahead. It will become more flavourful as it ferments and can be kept in the fridge.
– Prepare the marinated feta

1 day before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

– Prepare all the dips you plan to make and the Orange Thyme Tahini dressing (included in the Falafel recipe) if using. They all keep happily in the fridge for a few days

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Meal Prep
– Prepare the Falafel dough, but don’t add the baking powder yet, as it loses its raising power when left too long. Store in a lidded container in the fridge.
– Chop all the veggies for dipping and store in separate containers, so they keep fresh. Alternatively, if you have helpers on the day, you can chop them fresh.
– If you have enough space in your fridge, you can pre-shape balls from the Flatbread sourdough already and keep them on a baking parchment lined tray in the fridge, that you cover with oiled clingfilm.

On the day of your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

 

In the Morning:

– Fill a large cooking pot ½ with sunflower or vegetable oil for frying.
– Transfer all your dips into pretty serving bowls and cover with clingfilm

2h before serving

– Lay the table. Don’t forget spoons for all the dips.
– Prepare the Cucumber-Tomato-Salad as described in the Vegan Falafel Wrap recipe.
In short: Chop cucumber and cherry tomatoes into about ½ in/1cm pieces, chop 1 onion, roughly chop the parsley. Mix with juice of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
– Choose how to serve your mezze feast. You could use a large board, or like I did, some granite slates. Or scatter the dips across your table with plates of veggies and sides in between.

Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Dips
– Distribute the cut and ready vegetables, dried and fresh fruit and other sides between plates or arrange on a board. Cover with clingfilm to keep fresh while you prepare the warm dishes.

1h before serving

– Slowly heat your oil for frying the Falafel, to time it with the flatbreads being fried
– Roll out the Sourdough Naan Bread and store between pieces of baking parchment or cling film
– Fry and keep warm
– Or fill your Sourdough Flatbread with Feta and store the filled spirals on a parchment lined and oiled tray covered with clingfilm
– Start rolling out your Sour flatbread with Feta while you fry, as you will need to transfer right from the paper into the pan piece by piece
– Keep the Flatbreads warm and soft by wrapping into a clean kitchen towel and storing between 2 large plates, the top one being upside down, to create a warm and moist environment.
– If you feel you might take longer, you could also turn on your oven to the lowest setting and store the whole batch including plates in there to keep them warm.
– Fry the Falafel according to the recipe. If you are making a very large batch, keep them warm in the oven in between frying the batches of them.
– Remove the clingfilm from all dishes, add Falafel and Flatbreads to your Vegetarian Mezze Feast and you are ready to serve!

Gather your loved ones around the table, ideally while the Falafel are frying, and enjoy the stunning feast.

Vegetarian Mezze Feast

Please find the separate recipes for each dish in the links above or below. This particular “Recipe” Focusses on giving you a timeline for preparing the whole feast.

Meal Prep

 

Most of the Meal Prep is covered above, but here are a few more shortcuts and prepare ahead ideas that I used:

Pre-fry and freeze your Falafel and Flatbread. I wouldn’t necessarily do this if I’d plan this for a feast, as fresh is indeed best, but if you only make one or two of the dips, flatbread and/or Falafel for your work week, which is what I did, freezing them is a great way to store and keep fresh, ready in the air fryer or oven within a few minutes, while you plate your dips and veggies.

Freeze the flatbread dough in portion for quick weekday meals and just pat or roll out after defrosting for a few hours when you want to fry them.

Prepare everything on your weekend, keep in separate lidded containers for the week and only warm up the Flatbread and Falafel. The Naan in particular does well when warmed in the microwave, as you want it to be soft. Just 30 seconds is enough. This means you will have dinner on the table within 5 minutes.

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

The Links again, this time without pictures, for easy clicking:

Hummus Two Ways

Easy Tzatziki

Muhammara

Smoked Aubergine Dip

Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

Sourdough Discard Naan

Vegan Falafel Wraps

Vegetarian Mezze Feast

Vegetarian Mezze Feast

If you have been following along with my last eight recipes, you already have a good idea of how this Vegetarian Mezze Feast will look like. We are combining all of those delicious dips and snacks into one stunning spread that is worthy of any holiday or festivity. The fact that it’s vegetarian is an added bonus, and I’m pretty sure no carnivore will even waste a thought on the meat, once they see all the stunning variety on offer.
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting and Soaking time 2 days
Total Time 2 days 5 hours
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Feast, Main Course, spread
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 8
Calories 850 kcal

Ingredients
  

Produce

  • 1 russet potato
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 3 bulbs garlic
  • 8 lemons
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cooked beetroots
  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 2 bunches flatleaf parsley
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 2 onions
  • 9 oz cherry tomatoes plus more for dipping
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish

For Dipping (Use what you like. Below are examples)

  • Carrots
  • Mini Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Mini Fennel
  • Grapes

Dried fruit and nuts (Use what you like. Below are examples)

  • Medjool dates
  • Dried figs
  • Toasted Walnuts
  • Toasted Almonds

Other

  • Black Olives
  • Green Olives
  • Feta filled sweet peppers
  • Filled wine leaves

Fridge

  • 1 cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt or more full fat
  • 5 cups Greek yoghurt
  • 16-24 ounces 2-3 blocks Feta
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup oat milk or full fat milk of choice

Other

  • 2 cups sourdough starter active or discard

Pantry

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 9 oz/250g dried chickpeas
  • 2 cups 1 big jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 pack Walnuts
  • 4 cups Plain Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 l sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • Flaky Salt
  • 1 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Molasses
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1.5 tbsp Date Syrup
  • 3 tbsp Pomegranate molasses
  • 1 3/4 cup Tahini
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Spices

  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Sumac
  • Ground Coriander
  • Ground Cumin
  • Za'atar
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions
 

The Process

  • Now this tends to be the place to give you all the steps to prepare a recipe. But those are already in each recipe and would be a bit overwhelming to have in one list. So I will mainly give you a timeline on what recipe to start when, plus the extra quick Marinated Feta.

Marinated Feta

  • Let’s start with the quickest recipe of the bunch, Marinated Feta.
  • Get one or two blocks of good quality feta that you generally enjoy. Cut it in ½ in/1cm cubes and add to a fitting container you have a lid for.
  • In a small bowl, mix 2 -4 tbsp olive oil with 1-2 tbsp Za’atar (depending on the amount of feta blocks you decided to use). Pour the mixture over the feta cubes and gently mix, to coat them. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be done up to 3 days in advance and the flavour will only improve. And your first recipe is done.

The Timeline

    3 days before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    • Get your shopping done

    2 days before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    • Soak the Chickpeas for your Falafel and, if starting from dried chickpeas instead of canned, for your Hummus.
    • Start the dough for your Sourdough flatbread either 1 or 2 days in advance, to get ahead. It will become more flavourful as it ferments and can be kept in the fridge.
    • Prepare the marinated feta by cuting 1-2 blocks of feta in cubes and mixing it with 2-4 tbsp of oilve oil and 1-2 tbsp Za'atar.

    1 day before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    • Prepare all the dips you plan to make. They all keep happily in the fridge for a few days
    • Prepare the Falafel dough, but don’t add the baking powder yet, as it loses its raising power when left too long. Store in a lidded container in the fridge.
    • Chop all the veggies for dipping and store in separate containers, so they keep fresh. Alternatively, if you have helpers on the day, you can chop them fresh.
    • If you have enough space in your fridge, you can pre-shape balls from the Flatbread sourdough already and keep them on a baking parchment lined tray in the fridge, that you cover with oiled clingfilm.

    On the day of your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

      In the Morning:

      • Fill a large cooking pot ½ with sunflower or vegetable oil for frying.
      • Transfer all your dips into pretty serving bowls and cover with clingfilm

      2h before serving

      • Lay the table. Don’t forget spoons for all the dips.
      • Prepare the Cucumber-Tomato-Salad as described in the Vegan Falafel Wrap recipe.
      • In short: Chop cucumber and cherry tomatoes into about ½ in/1cm pieces, chop 1 onion, roughly chop the parsley. Mix with juice of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
      • Choose how to serve your mezze feast. You could use a large board, or like I did, some granite slates. Or scatter the dips across your table with plates of veggies and sides in between.
      • Garnish your dips with drizzles of olive oil, Za'atar, pomegranate seeds and sesame. Cover with clingfilm until ready to serve.
      • Distribute the cut and ready vegetables, dried and fresh fruit and other sides between plates or arrange on a board. Cover with clingfilm to keep fresh while you prepare the warm dishes.

      1h before serving

      • Slowly heat your oil for frying the Falafel, to time it with the flatbreads being fried
      • Roll out the Sourdough Naan Bread and store between pieces of baking parchment or cling film
      • Fry and keep warm
      • Or fill your Sourdough Flatbread with Feta and store the filled spirals on a parchment lined and oiled tray covered with clingfilm
      • Start rolling out your Sour flatbread with Feta while you fry, as you will need to transfer right from the paper into the pan piece by piece
      • Keep the Flatbreads warm and soft by wrapping into a clean kitchen towel and storing between 2 large plates, the top one being upside down, to create a warm and moist environment.
      • If you feel you might take longer, you could also turn on your oven to the lowest setting and store the whole batch including plates in there to keep them warm.
      • Fry the Falafel according to the recipe. If you are making a very large batch, keep them warm in the oven in between frying the batches of them.
      • Remove the clingfilm from all dishes, add Falafel and Flatbreads to your Vegetarian Mezze Feast and you are ready to serve!
      • Gather your loved ones around the table, ideally while the Falafel are frying, and enjoy the stunning feast.

      Notes

      Please find the separate recipes for each dish in the links of the blog post. This particular "Recipe" Focusses on giving you a timeline for preparing the whole feast.
      For the ingredients I haven't given estimates for, like salt for example and oilve oil, the amounts you use may vary on your taste, how much you use to drizzle on top of dips and for rolling out flatbreads.
      The preparation time is a very rough estimate based on how long each dish takes to make and the soaking time for chickpeas plus resting time for sourdough. Your results may vary.
      I got everything plus editing the recipes and taking all the photos done in 3 days fairly relaxed and with breaks, where photos make up roughly one of the days. 
      I also re-made some of the recipes, as I loved them so much and they were very quick to make.
      Same goes for the calories. I can only give a very rough estimation, based on likely average consumption. For more specific values, please refer to each separate recipe in this case.
      Most of the Meal Prep is covered above, but here are a few more shortcuts and prepare ahead ideas that I used:
      Pre-fry and freeze your Falafel and Flatbread. I wouldn’t necessarily do this if I’d plan this for a feast, as fresh is indeed best, but if you only make one or two of the dips, flatbread and/or Falafel for your work week, which is what I did, freezing them is a great way to store and keep fresh, ready in the air fryer or oven within a few minutes, while you plate your dips and veggies.
      Freeze the flatbread dough in portion for quick weekday meals and just pat or roll out after defrosting for a few hours when you want to fry them.
      Prepare everything on your weekend, keep in separate lidded containers for the week and only warm up the Flatbread and Falafel. The Naan in particular does well when warmed in the microwave, as you want it to be soft. Just 30 seconds is enough. This means you will have dinner on the table within 5 minutes.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 850kcal
      Nutrition Facts
      Vegetarian Mezze Feast
      Amount per Serving
      Calories
      850
      % Daily Value*
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
      Keyword For Guests, Healthy, High Fibre, meal prep, Vegetarian, versatile
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

       

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