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Menu For Mediterranean Appetizer Party

Come Party With Me: Bachelorette — Menu


While the bridal shower was sunny and sophisticated, my friend Ronda's bachelorette will be fantastical and fabulous. Since she's a huge fan of belly dancing, the maid of honor has chosen this sensual dance to serve as the party's theme. Ronda's girlfriends are invited to a belly dancing class complete with Mediterranean nibbles. After the class, everyone will head to a local hookah bar to practice their newfound talent. I'm planning the menu; it will be a spread of delicious appetizers. In between songs, the girls can snack on mini Mediterranean pitas topped with hummus, tapenade, or pesto.

Crisp Turkish cigars are filled with tangy feta cheese. Flatbread squares with mint and ground lamb are hearty and scrumptious. When skewered on rosemary springs and served with a garlicky mint sauce, shrimp is irresistible. To check out these recipes that are perfect for any backyard bash, read more.

Mediterranean Pitas

Mediterranean Pitas

Mediterranean Pitas

Ingredients

16 mini pita pockets, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound each hummus, tapenade, pesto, sun-dried tomato spread, black bean dip and spreadable goat cheese
Olives, for garnish
Paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler. Split each pita pocket in half, forming 32 disks total.
  2. Place the disks, cut side up, on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Place under the broiler and cook until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Top the pitas with the various spreads. Place an olive in the center of some of the pitas. Sprinkle lightly with paprika, if desired.

Serves 8.

Turkish Cigars

Turkish Cigars

Turkish Cigars

Ingredients

14 ounces feta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped mixed herbs, such as mint, flat-leaf parsley and dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper
16 sheets phyllo dough
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, blend the feta with the eggs and the mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Have 2 large baking sheets ready. Work with 2 sheets of phyllo at a time, keeping the remaining sheets under a damp towel. Set 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface and brush with some of the melted butter. Press a second sheet of phyllo on top. Cut the phyllo lengthwise into 4 even rectangles.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon of the feta cheese and herb filling along the short end of one of the phyllo rectangles, leaving about 1/2 inch on each side. Roll up the phyllo, neatly tucking in the ends one-third of the way up to enclose the filling, then continue to roll up the phyllo with the sides open.
  4. Transfer the rolled-up cigar, seam side down, to a large baking sheet and brush with more of the melted butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo dough and feta cheese and herb filling.
  5. Bake the cigars for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crisp; switch the baking sheets halfway through for even browning. Serve the cigars hot or at room temperature.

Makes 32 cigars.

Make Ahead: The cigars can be assembled up to 4 hours ahead. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bake the cigars just before serving.

Flatbread Topped with Mint, Feta, and Lamb

Flatbread Topped with Mint, Feta, and Lamb

Flatbread Topped with Mint, Feta, and Lamb

Ingredients

For the flatbreads
1 3/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for surface
For the topping
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
6 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and rinsed well
16 scallions, thinly sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 cup (8 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Directions

  1. Make the flatbreads: Combine yeast and water in a mixer bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add oil, sugar, and salt. Mix with the dough hook on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed to low. With the machine running, add flour, a little at a time, and mix until dough comes together. (You will need more flour in warm weather than in cold.) Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and supple, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator, and bring to room temperature. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet on the floor of the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Make the topping: Melt butter with oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in parsley and mint.
  4. Add lamb to the same skillet, and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and breaking meat into small pieces, until browned, 6 to 7 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 4 portions. On a lightly floured surface, gently stretch 2 pieces into 14-by-7-inch rounded rectangles; keep other portions covered.
  6. Place dough rectangles on a parchment-lined peel or inverted rimmed baking sheet. Brush with oil, and spread each with 1/4 of the leek mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top each with 1/4 of the lamb, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup feta. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Carefully slide parchment with flatbreads off the peel or sheet onto the pizza stone. Bake until flatbreads are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  8. Garnish flatbreads with fresh mint, and drizzle with oil. Cut into thick slices, and serve immediately.

Serves 8-10.

Skewered Rosemary Shrimp with Mint Pesto

Skewered Rosemary Shrimp with Mint Pesto

Skewered Rosemary Shrimp with Mint Pesto

Ingredients

Mint pesto
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons (packed) feta cheese
2 tablespoons (packed) Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped jalapeño chile
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups (packed) fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Shrimp
24 large uncooked shrimp (about 2 pounds), peeled, deveined, tails left intact
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
24 4-inch-long woody rosemary sprigs

Directions

  1. For mint pesto: combine first 7 ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns, process until mixture is smooth.
  2. Add mint leaves and lemon juice; process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Gradually add oil and process until mint pesto is smooth and creamy. (Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
  3. For shrimp: preheat broiler. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Whisk oil, garlic, and parsley in medium bowl to blend. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
  4. Arrange shrimp in single layer on broiler pan. Broil until opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to large bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice and toss with 1/2 cup mint pesto. Starting at base end of rosemary, skewer 1 shrimp on each sprig. Arrange on platter and serve.

Makes 24.

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