Middle Eastern Sharing Platter

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 | No Comments

There is great joy to be had in sitting down with a group of friends to a table laden with plates and bowls of different dishes, dips and bread.

Mezze and tapas is by far one of my favourite ways to cook and eat, and it always seems amazing to me what a variety of food you can create with a relatively limited number of ingredients.

So, here are some simple Middle Eastern recipes that will have greedy guests turning up in hoards.



Flatbread Recipe




175g natural yogurt

200ml warm water

7g sachet fast action dried yeast

400g strong white flour

100g wholemeal flour

2tsp salt

Olive oil, for kneading and shaping

Nigella seeds, to finish




Set the oven to 200

Put the yoghurt in a bowl, add warm water (very warm if the yoghurt is fridge cold) and stir until smooth. Mix in the yeast and let it sit for a few minutes to dissolve.


Add the flour, salt and mix to a dough. Cover the bowl, leave for ten minutes then rub oil onto the worktop. Scrape the dough onto it. Oil your hands well, then knead until soft and springy. Leave in a bowl for half an hour to rise.


Divide the dough into two pieces. Stretch and fold into two rectangles.


Line a baking tray with baking parchment and flip the dough rectangles onto it. Leave uncovered for 30 minutes.


After half an hour, stretch the dough out a little more, oil the top of the dough and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Leave to rise for another 15 minute and then bake for 25 minutes until golden.


Falafel Recipe




2tsp cumin seeds

2tsp coriander seeds

2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained

1.5tsp baking powder

1tbs plain flour

100g carrot, finely grated

1 red chili, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1tbs chopped fresh coriander

2tbs chopped fresh parsley

1 lemon, zest only

Vegetable oil for frying

Sesame seeds to garnish




Dry fry the seeds. Grind in pestle and mortar.


Put the chickpeas in a food processor. Pulse. Add the ground seeds, salt and pepper  and the rest of the ingredients, except for the vegetable oil and sesame seeds. Pulse again. Check for seasoning. Chill for half an hour.


Roll the mixture into flattish balls. Roll in the sesame seeds.


Heat 5cm oil in a pan. Fry the falafel in batches and serve.


Onion Salad




1 large onion, thinly sliced

Handful of sliced mint


Two handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped

Pinch of cumin

1tbsp of lemon juice

2tbsp of olive oil




Toss the onion with the mint, sumac, salt and pepper. Leave to rest for ten minutes so the onion starts to soften. Add the rest of the ingredients.


Chickpea, Spinach and Tomato Stew




Vegetable oil

1 red onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Small piece of ginger, thinly sliced

2 mild chilis, chopped

½tsp turmeric

1tsp garam masala

1tsp ground cumin

4 tomatoes, chopped

2tsp tomato puree

400g can of chickpea, rinsed and drained

200g spinach leaves




Heat the oil in a saucepan. Fry the onion over a low heat until softened. Stir in the ginger, garlic and chilis and cook for 5 more minutes.


Add the turmeric, garam masala and cumin. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree. Simmer for five minutes.


Add the chickpeas to the pan with 300ml of water. Simmer for ten minutes. Stir in the spinach to wilt and serve.


Courgette-wrapped Feta and Olives







Sun-dried tomatoes







Chop the olives, tomatoes and parsley. Mix into the ricotta with the crumbled feta. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest.


Slice the courgette into long thin strips. Fry in a griddle pan or bake in the oven with olive oil.


Wrap each courgette strip around a spoonful of the ricotta filling. And serve.


Cracked Wheat Salad




Cracked wheat (also sometimes labelled bulgur wheat)


Red onion




Lemon juice and zest

Olive oil




Cook the cracked wheat.


Cut a small cross on the bottom of the tomatoes. Cover with boiling water and leave for ten seconds. Peel the skin off. Remove the seeds and dice.


Chop the cucumber, slice the red onion and chop the herbs.


Mix all the ingredients together and season.


Hummus Recipe




2 x 400g cans of chickpeas

4tsp tahini

2 garlic cloves, crushed

6tbs olive oil

3.5tbs lemon juice

Paprika and parsley or coriander leaves to serve




Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and tip into the food processor.

Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and a splash of water. Turn on and slowly pour in the oil as it runs. Check seasoning and consistency. If necessary add more salt, lemon and/or tahini. If it too thick add more oil or water.


Serve with a garnish of paprika and herbs.


Tzatziki Recipe




Natural yoghurt


Lemon juice






Finely slice the mint. Chop the cucumber into cubes. Crush the garlic. Mix all the ingredients together and serve.


Carrot Salad Recipe





Lemon juice

Olive oil



Mild green chilli

Harissa paste




Roughly grate the carrot. Finely dice the chilli. Mix the lemon, olive oil, cumin, chilli and harissa to make a dressing.

Finely chop the parsley. Mix and serve.


Recipe brought to you by Elizabeth Caton, leading Wedding Caterers in Sussex. For more information on our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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