The best way to bring home the feel of any part of a country is to relish its cuisine. And when it comes to Mediterranean cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is- mediterranean charcuterie board!
A charcuterie board is a wholesome meal with fruits, vegetables, dips, etc. that not only soothe the taste buds but is also a treat for the eyes with plenty of colors. And when this all comes with a blend of mediterranean vibes, waiting for it is seriously a test of patience.
But a lot of vegetarians aren’t aware that mediterranean cuisine is almost a pack of vegetables and fruits. They wonder if they could get the exact match of classic taste without bacon, steak, or salmon fish rolls on the board. Well, cheer up because today you’ll know how to prepare a loaded mediterranean charcuterie board vegetarian style and yet be able to maintain the original authenticity of this mezze.
Mediterranean Charcuterie Board Vegetarian
What makes a charcuterie board exotic is that it liberates you to present your creativity in presentation. So even if you are not a hard-core perfectionist in plating, you won’t be judged. Collect all the ingredients and be ready to combine a gorgeous platter loaded with colors and a flavorful boost.
So we’ll start with pan-roasted cherry tomatoes:
Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Both baked and pan-roasted cherry tomatoes would do for this platter, but we’re opting for the latter one.
- Cherry Tomatoes- 10 to 12
- Olive Oil- 2 to 3 tbsp
- Salt- as per taste
- Red Chilli Flakes- as per taste
- Rosemary (optional)
- Fresh Oregano- as per taste
- Put an iron skillet on the stove, drizzle 2 to 3 tbsp of olive oil and let it heat.
- Then add the cherry tomatoes into the skillet and slow down the heat.
- Now sprinkle salt, oregano, and chilli flakes and give a toss to the tomatoes to combine the spices well.
- After 3 to 4 minutes, turn off the heat and take the skillet off the stove.
- At this stage, add the rosemary to the tomatoes and give them a nice toss (this step is optional).
Our first item of the mediterranean charcuterie board is ready! Let’s move on to the next dish which is- the falafel salad bowl.
Falafel Salad Bowl
Since we’ve already prepared one of the important elements of this salad bowl, i.e., roasted cherry tomatoes, we’ll proceed with others now:
- Chickpeas- 2 cups
- Water- To soak the chickpeas
- Olive Oil- 1 tbsp
- Hot Spices Powder (Garam Masala)- 1 tsp
- Green Chillies- 2
- Onion- 1 (sliced)
- Roasted Cumin Powder- 1 to 2 tsp
- Salt- as per taste
- Coriander Powder- 1 tsp
- Parsley- 1 batch (1 cup)
- Cilantro- 1 batch (1 cup)
- Tahini Sauce/ Ardeh- 2 to 3 tbsp for garnishing
- Black Olives- 4 to 5
- Custard Apple- 2
- Cucumber (julienne)- 2
- Carrots (julienne)- 2
- Feta Cheese (cubes)- 1 cup
- Lettuce- 4 to 5
- To make falafel balls, you need to soak the chickpeas in water for 24 hours.
- Then strain and put the chickpeas into a blender with onion, garlic cloves, parsley, cilantro, hot spices powder (garam masala), coriander powder, green chillies, salt, and roasted cumin powder. Blend everything but make sure not to overprocess it as we do not want to make a paste out of it. So keep its consistency coarse.
- Now take out the mixture in a bowl and cover it with a cling wrap (you can use a plate as well) and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- Take out the mixture, make round balls of medium size and line them up on a tray. You can use an ice cream scoop or your palms to shape the balls.
- After this, deep fry them until golden brown.
It’s time to assemble the salad…..
Assembling Falafel Salad Bowl:
- Now take a large bowl (or a dish as you prefer), you can choose to be a little fancy here as it’ll go directly onto your mediterranean charcuterie board.
- Place some half-cut lettuce leaves in the bowl.
- Next place the crispy falafel balls, cherry tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, custard apple (you can switch it with avocado), onions (raw or pickled), feta cheese cubes and some black olives over the lettuce.
- Lastly, drizzle some tahini sauce on it and sprinkle some red chilli flakes on the top.
Okay until we prepare other elements of our mediterranean charcuterie board, keep the prepared bowl of falafel salad in the refrigerator, don’t worry, just make sure you take them out before serving so that the falafel balls come to room temperature.
Whole Wheat Bread
Wheat bread is the essence of Mediterranean cuisine, so it will surely go on our mediterranean charcuterie board.
- Sugar (Powdered)- 1 tbsp
- Whole Wheat Flour- 3 cups
- Baking Soda- ½ tsp
- Baking Powder- 1 ½ tsp
- Buttermilk (Chaach)/Milk- 2 cups
- Salt- 2 to 3 cups
- White Sesame Seeds (Safed Til)- 1 tbsp
- Take a large bowl and put a sieve over it.
- Put 3 cups of whole wheat flour into the sieve.
- Further add powdered sugar, baking soda and baking powder into it.
- Sieve all the dry ingredients into the bowl and give them a nice mix with the help of a spoon.
- Now gradually pour in buttermilk (chaach) and knead the dough. You can replace the buttermilk with milk. Remember that the buttermilk or milk must be at room temperature. Also, there is nothing to worry about if your dough is a little sticky. Cover the dough and let it rest until you make the preparations to bake it.
It’s Baking Time (On Stove & Oven)
- Put a skillet (kadhai) on the stove and fill it with 2 to 3 cups of salt and place a stand or a steel plate (upside-down) into it. Cover the skillet with the lid and let it heat for about 10 to 15 minutes on high flame. Alternatively, you can bake the bread in a preheated oven at 180° for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease a tin with oil in which we’ll bake the bread and pour ¾ of the dough into it. You can also use steel glasses for baking.
- Place the molds/tin in the preheated skillet over the stand.
- Sprinkle some white sesame seeds (safed til) on the top of the dough.
- Cover the skillet with its lid ensuring that the skillet is covered from all sides.
- Let it bake on a low flame for about 25 to 30 minutes.
- After that, turn off the heat. Using oven gloves, uncover the lid and insert a toothpick into the bread, if it comes out clean, your bread is completely baked. Otherwise, cook it again for 2 to 5 minutes.
- Take out the molds/tin, apply some oil/ghee on the top, and let it cool down. It might take around 10 to 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, separate the edges of the bread from the tin with a knife and take out the bread loaf.
- Now cut out 2 to 3 slices of the bread of equal thickness.
You can place the entire loaf on the mediterranean charcuterie board along with a few slices.
The next element is another layer of protein that will also add a creamy texture to our colorful and flavorful mezze board. You guessed it right- hummus!
To add a binding element to our mediterranean charcuterie board, hummus is a very nice option.
- Chickpeas- 2 to 3 small cups (120g)
- Water- 1.5 cups
- Red Chilli Flakes- 1 tsp
- Salt- as needed
- Cumin Powder- 1 tsp
- Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
- Olive Oil- 1 or 2 tbsp
- Baking Powder- ½ tsp
- White Sesame Seed (Safed Til)- 1 cup
- Garlic Cloves- 2
- Cherry Tomatoes- ½ cup (roasted)
- To begin with, soak the chickpeas in some water for about 8 hours and strain them afterward.
- Take a large pressure cooker and put into it the soaked chickpeas and add 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of baking powder.
- Boil the chickpeas and turn the heat off after 3 whistles. Take it out and let it cool.
- Take a pan and dry roast white sesame seeds (safed til) in it for about 2 to 3 minutes. Take it out on a plate and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Now in a food processor, put in the roasted white sesame seeds, garlic cloves, olive oil, and lemon juice, and blend them all together.
- Add into it the chickpeas and a little water as and when required to maintain a paste-like but a little coarse consistency of the hummus.
- Pour the hummus into a bowl and top it up with a few boiled chickpeas, roasted cherry tomatoes and red chilli flakes.
To add a crunch to your mediterranean charcuterie board, pita chips are a must.
- Olive Oil- 1 tbsp
- Salt- 1 tsp
- Garlic Powder- 1 tsp
- Dried Basil- 1 tsp
- Whole Wheat Flour- ⅓ cup
- All Purpose Flour- 1 ½ cup
- Warm Water- ¾th cup
- Instant Yeast- 1 tsp
- Sugar (Powdered)- 1 tbsp
- Take a large bowl and sieve together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, instant yeast, salt, and sugar.
- Add olive oil and dried basil to the dry ingredients and knead the dough using warm water. Do not add water in one go, add it gradually while kneading the dough.
- Once it’s done, let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
- After thirty minutes, the dough will double its size. At this stage, knead the dough again for 1 minute and divide it into eight balls of equal size just as we do for chapatti. Then cover and let the dough balls undisturbed for about 15 minutes.
- Then roll out each ball into the shape of a chapati and make a few tiny holes in it with a fork.
- Heat a pan and cook all the pita chapatis one by one, just like we cook a normal chapati.
- Once done, cut it into triangle shapes with a pizza cutter or a knife.
NOTE: Since we’re using instant yeast, it doesn’t require to be added in warm water to get activated.
Final Assembling Of The Mediterranean Charcuterie Board
So now that we have everything ready with us, let’s put it all on our mediterranean charcuterie board platter. For that, we need a few more items, but you need not to cook them as they are:
- Grapes- 1 bunch
- Figs- 5 (halved)
- Black Olives- 10
- Green Olives- 10
- Ricotta Cheese- 5 slices
- Swiss Cheese- 5 slices
- Mozzarella Cheese- 5 slices
- Sainte Maure Cheese- 1 roll or 5 slices
- Mixed Nuts- 1 cup
- Roasted Capsicum (red, yellow, green)- 1 cup (julienne)
- Cucumber- Julienne of 2
- Kiwi- 2 (diced)
- Blueberries- 1 cup
- Grapefruit- 2
- Graham Crackers- 2 cups
- Skewers- 2 or 3 (optional)
- So first of all, put 1 to 2 tbsp of hummus on the board and spread it with a butter knife. Sprinkle little red chilli flakes and a few chickpeas on its top.
- Place the falafel salad bowl on the opposite side of the hummus.
- Take a bunch of grapes and add them next to the bowl.
- Drop some blueberries on the board randomly.
- Take a grapefruit, cut its circular slices, and spread them all over the board, put 2 or 3 on the hummus as well for decoration in random patterns.
- Place the whole wheat bread loaf and slices on the board.
- Next, add a few graham crackers to the mediterranean charcuterie board platter.
- Create a domino-style line with some nachos, worry not you can provide them support with other dishes.
- Place the bowl of hummus on the board.
- Drop some fresh uncooked cherry tomatoes on one side of the mezze board.
- Put the heap of nuts, roasted capsicum, cucumber, and cheese slices on the board as well.
- Place a bunch of grapes, figs, kiwis, olives and pita chips on the board. You can also add the fruits on skewers.
Your mediterranean charcuterie board is ready to serve! Enjoy it with a glass of orange juice.
Before You Go!
A mediterranean charcuterie board is much more than a food platter. It is a feeling of joy, enthusiasm, and different shades of life. You can make it to celebrate an occasion or to uplift your bestie’s mood. It is a wholesome platter that has a combination of the essence of classic mediterranean food. And the best part is- you can give it your touch! For instance, you can add a filling of your choice to the classic pita chips or give it a zing of tahini yogurt, tzatziki, or parsley dip or add a bowl of quinoa or legume salad to the mediterranean charcuterie board. Not only is it a unique blend of flavors but is also a protein-packed appetizer even with vegetarian alternatives. So don’t wait anymore and dig in!