The perfect party spread for friends, family and colleagues. This Mediterranean Mezze Platter (Charcuterie Board) is customized to include all your favorite bites and nibbles in the same glorious place. Break out the cutting board and let's get this charcuterie party started!
When it comes to delightful culinary creations, a Mediterranean charcuterie platter stands as a true masterpiece. Laden with a variety of proteins, cheeses, olives, fruits, and more, this iconic spread brings the spirit of the Mediterranean right to your table.
While charcuterie is a French term, building a Mediterranean Charcuterie Platter opens an entirely different world of possibilities. Spanning almost two dozen countries and territories, the Mediterranean Sea Region includes popular cuisines from Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Egypt and Turkey. With so many different options, this might be the best charcuterie board of your life!
Today, we'll explore step by step how to build a Mediterranean charcuterie platter that's not only visually stunning but also a symphony of flavors that will drop your taste buds right onto the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean...any old day of the week.
Charcuterie Board Ideas for a Mediterranean Board:
Unlike our usual ingredient section on Weekday Pescatarian, this recipe gives you a lot more flexibility with your ingredient selection. I'm showing the food items and ingredients I used to build the featured Mediterranean Charcuterie. But you're not confined to my choices! Check out the recipe card below for a full list of suggestions and ideas.
Dips & Spreads
- Regular or Spicy Garlic Hummus
- Tzatziki Sauce
Protein & Cheese
- Greek Grilled Octopus skewers
- Marinated white anchovies
- Sliced feta cheese
Marinated & Pickled
- Kalamata olives
- Spanish olives
- Pickled stuffed cherry peppers
Chips and Bread
- Toasted pita bread
- Rye crackers
- Sliced Italian bread
Vegetables & Salads
- Carrot sticks (bonus points if they have green tops!)
- Mini cucumber wedges
- Grilled artichoke hearts
Fruit & Garnish
- Red grapes
- Lemon wedges
- Fresh herbs (sprigs of basil)
A full list of ingredient ideas and suggestions is included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for building a charcuterie board full of Mediterranean foods:
Choose the Right Foundation:
Begin by selecting the perfect platter or board to showcase your masterpiece. A rustic wooden board, a marble slab, or a large ceramic plate all work well. The idea is to have a visually appealing backdrop for your colorful arrangement.
Select Your Proteins:
The foundation of a true charcuterie board is the cured meats (which is the actual definition of the French word, "charcuterie"). Because "charcuterie" has evolved to more broadly to refer to any kind of grazing board, cured meats are no longer the star...or even required.
If you're serving non-pescatarians, opt for a variety of Mediterranean-inspired meats like prosciutto, salami, chorizo, and coppa.
For pescatarians, Grilled Greek Octopus, Shrimp Skewers, Grilled Calamari or tinned fish like anchovies, sardines or mackerel are all great protein options. Jammy eggs are another protein option that adds richness and color to a Mediterranean cheese board.
Curate a Cheese Selection:
Complement your proteins with a well-chosen assortment of cheeses. Choosing a few classic Mediterranean options gives you some amazing cheese choices. I always include feta, and often supplement with Manchego, Parmesan, or goat cheese. These cheeses offer a diverse flavor profile, from tangy and crumbly to creamy and nutty.
Bread and Crackers:
A Mediterranean board should include a variety of bread and crackers. Crusty bread like baguettes, ciabatta, and whole-grain varieties are excellent choices. Include crispy breadsticks and a mix of your favorite crackers to add a textural contrast to the platter. And any form of pitas (chips or soft triangles) are another great addition.
Embrace the Olives:
No Mediterranean charcuterie platter is complete without a variety of olives. Choose marinated green and black olives for their rich, briny flavors. If you're feeling adventurous, stop by the olive bar at your local grocery store and pick up a selection of olives stuffed with garlic, cheese, or almonds.
Include Vibrant Fresh Fruits:
Introduce a burst of color and sweetness with fresh fruits. Grapes, figs, pomegranate seeds, and slices of juicy oranges and melons can be visually appealing and also provide a refreshing balance to the salty dips and cheeses.
Dips and Spreads:
Elevate your platter with a range of Mediterranean-inspired dips and spreads. Hummus, refreshing yogurt-based tzatziki, the traditional eggplant dip baba ghanoush, and olive tapenade are all excellent choices. These dips add depth to the platter and offer guests a variety of options to pair with the proteins, cheeses and breads.
Garnish your platter with fresh herbs like basil, dill, mint or flat leaf parsley. Not only do they add a touch of greenery, but they can also infuse a subtle fragrance that enhances the overall snacking experience.
Arrange with Artistry:
Since we eat with our eyes first, building a charcuterie platter is all about creating an aesthetically pleasing arrangement. Start by placing the larger items like cheese wedges and bowls of dips. Then, drape and curl the cured meats (if using) or arrange your grilled skewers. Fill gaps with clusters of small items like grapes, olives, nuts, and fresh fruits.
Serving Utensils and Knives:
Don't forget to provide small utensils and knives for spreading, cutting, and picking up items from the platter. Cheese knives, small forks, and spreading knives will ensure that your guests can easily build a selection of small plates with all the combinations on the snacking board.
Crafting a Mediterranean charcuterie platter is an art that involves building flavors, textures, and aesthetics. It's an opportunity to bring the vibrant and diverse cuisine of the Mediterranean region to your dining table. And it's the perfect board for entertaining people you love!
FAQ's about Mediterranean Snack Board:
Offer a variety of options to accommodate different dietary needs. Include gluten-free crackers or bread, plant-based cheeses, and ensure any nut allergies are considered. If you're unsure of your guests' sensitivities, label items to indicate if they are vegetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free.
Absolutely! Many components like dips, spreads, and marinated items can be prepared ahead of time. A huge benefit of serving a grazing board is that so many delicious, high-quality ingredients can be purchased pre-made in the deli section or olive bar of local grocery stores. Keep everything in the refrigerator in their serving bowls, then assemble the board shortly before serving to ensure freshness.
It depends on the number of guests and whether the board is serving as an appetizer before a main dish or it's serving as the entire meal. A good rule of thumb is to offer 2-3 ounces of meat / protein and cheese per person for an appetizer or light meal, along with a selection of complementary savory snacks, dips, veggies and breads. If the Mediterranean mezze board is serving as the full meal, your shopping list should include around 6 ounces of meat and cheese per person.
Keep perishable items in the fridge until shortly before serving. You can also use small bowls with ice underneath items that might be sensitive to temperature changes, like chilled cheeses, seafood or meats.
Properly storing leftovers from a charcuterie board is essential to maintain freshness and safety. Begin by carefully removing all perishable items, such as cheeses, seafood items, cured meats, vegetables and fruits from the board. Place them in separate airtight containers, ensuring each type of food is stored separately to prevent flavor transfer. Store cheeses in the refrigerator, wrapped in wax paper or parchment paper to maintain their texture. Cured meats and seafood items should also be refrigerated in a sealed container. Fruits and vegetables should be stored in their respective containers, as well. To preserve the quality of crackers and bread, keep them in a dry, sealed container. Consume the leftovers within a couple of days for the best taste and safety.