Perfect appetizer. Light, healthy, colorful and tasteful. You can't go wrong with mezze or meze, your guests will be super pleased.
Although I am a big fan of Serbian traditional meze as well, Middle Eastern mezze is still my favorite. I tried it for the first time in a Lebanese restaurant and I still go there to get good mezze.
Traditional mezze includes hummus, babaghanoush, tabbouleh, olives, stuffed grape leaves... In reality, you can create platter with anything you have in your fridge or pantry at that moment.
Always serve flat bread with mezze. I love homemade pita bread that is so much better the one from the supermarket.
This is how I recently made my mezze platter:
Labneh - faboulous cream cheese from Middle East. It is easy to make, you need only milk and Greek yogurt. Find recipe here.
Tabbouleh salad - this is my version with couscous, but you can always use bulgur.
Hummus - to be honest, I never made it because nowadays you can find really good one in every supermarket.
Olives - black Kalamata is always my favorite.
Onion dip with yogurt, feta cheese and oregano - this is not traditional thing but you should try it. Very refreshing and flavorful dish.
Tapenade - you can find so many recipes online or you can buy it.
Ajvar - spread or dip made of roasted red peppers and eggplant with garlic. Everyone loves it, for my American friends that is the best Serbian stuff they've ever tried.
Banana peppers rings - some sourness from pickled vegetable, plus nice color.
And babaghanoush... extraordinaire dip that I make pretty often. Below is the recipe.
1 large eggplant
1 clove of garlic, minced
handful fresh parsley, chopped
handful fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup tahini
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
Some olive oil
2 tablespoons of ajvar
or 2 tablespoons of chopped Kalamata olives
Broil or bake whole eggplant in the oven, on upper shelf for about 30-60 minutes, until soft and collapsed. Then let it cool down. Remove the skin and mash the pulp with fork. You can remove seeds if you like. Add minced garlic, tahini, chopped parsley and mint, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. I found that adding Kalamata olives or ajvar will give some extra acidity that babaghanoush needs (at least for my taste). Mix everything together and place in a serving dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
And, check out this great online food magazine Mezze, where you can find my recipes and articles.