Lebanese Maza Platter

The Lebanese way with small plates, or maza (mezze), lends itself perfectly to a party board or platter. My Lebanese Maza Platter is just as luscious as it is healthy with hummus, labneh, fresh veggies, olives, pita chips, and more!

Lebanese Mezze Platter

I’m a huge fan of a raucous charcuterie board. So much so that I’ve had to institute a hold-me-back policy . . . I go all-in, eating the cheeses, the salami, then more of each one again and again that I’m pretty sure my doctor can feel the earth shifting over where she is, with all of her unheeded advice to take it easy on the cheesy.

Enter the Lebanese-style charcuterie board, minus the charcuterie and the cheese! The Lebanese have such a magnificent way with small plate-eating that the big board or platter with these same dishes is a natural. SO delicious. SO much healthier! This is the Mediterranean Diet all wrapped up in a platter!

How to build the Maza Platter.

Get out your platter or board first, the size of which depends on how many are eating. Is this maza, appetizer time or is this the whole grazing-style meal (which I LOVE)? Make your determination and then size it.

Pull out lots of small bowls and plates and fit them on the serving board/platter to see what works. Envisioning the layout of your platter in advance is helpful so you don’t have to move the food around too much as you build it.

What to include in the Maza Platter?

Think of all of the Lebanese and Middle Eastern foods you love to eat, and go for it. Consider as much colorful food as possible! Add color and flavor with drizzles of olive oil and dustings of spices.

Many favorites:

Hummus, in any flavor or a combo of two different flavors (herb and beet, for example)

Labneh. Try Labneh Green Goddess here. Just be sure your yogurt is thick, not thin (labneh, not laban).

Baba Gannouj

Muhummara

Olives, a variety of black and green, spiced, and different sizes.

Cucumber spears

Multi-colored cherry tomatoes (I leave them whole, but they can be halved as well)

Pickles: Lifft, pickled turnips; pickled carrots; pickled cukes; asparagus pickles; dilly green beans; you get the idea. Cut them into smaller pieces if needed.

Grapeleave rolls

Little Gem or small romaine lettuce leaves

Nuts, especially pistachios!, or any roasted salted nut or nut mix

Good pita chips

Za’atar Crackers

How to arrange the Maza Platter.

A guiding principal for any board or platter: the look of abundance! I try to make sure the base of the platter can’t be seen; just all of the delights on top, touching one another and making an appetizing show of it.

  1. My anchors: the dips. Get two or three similar-sized bowls for the hummus, labneh, baba gannouj, etc. Swirl your dip with the back of a spoon, then drizzle with olive oil and dust with spice (za’atar, dried mint, 7 Spice, sumac, black pepper).
  2. Around the dips, use small bowls or plates to hold your olives, pickles, small pieces of anything.
  3. Arrange piles of the vegetables around the dips, cutting them in different shapes (cucumbers in thin spears; small tomatoes whole; carrots in oblong coins; etc.).
  4. Fill in spaces with a line-up of grape leaves, lots of pita chips, more olives, dried fruit and nuts.
  5. Running out of room? Add small nut bowls and other items on the side.

Finishing touches:

Everything is more appetizing if it’s glistening or dusted. A thin drizzle of olive oil over everything is my go-to, then a pinch of spice wherever it might look great (everywhere!).

If your olive oil glugs out of its bottle too heavily and swiftly, try my little trick of pouring some olive oil into the bowl of a large spoon, then drizzle from there. Much more control.

Tuck in some fresh herbs as a finishing touch to gild this lily of a platter. Mint is our best friend, of course, but parsley and cilantro also work well.

Lebanese Maza Platter

Lebanese Maza Platter

Maureen Abood
The Lebanese way with small plates, or maza (mezze), lends itself perfectly to a party board or platter. My Lebanese Maza Platter is just luscious with hummus, labneh, fresh veggies, olives, pita chips, and more. My "recipe" is a list of possibilities for your platter or board; you'll run with it from here!
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Instructions
 

  • Select the platter or board with size and amount needed for your group. Have handy a variety of small bowls and plates. Loosely map out where everything will be located on the platter.
  • Make the dips the anchor by swirling them in similar-sized plates or bowls. Place them on the platter in a balanced way; one on each side, for example.
  • Arrange vegetables around the dips. Add groupings of the other items to fill the platter until the entire surface is covered. Fill in empty spaces with more pita chips or little piles of nuts and dried fruit.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the dips. Brush olive oil on the vegetables to give them some glisten and prevent dryness.
  • Dust spices over the dips and vegetables, tuck in herb bunches for color, and serve.
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I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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