A while ago I was in a restaurant that serves food inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, where I had a wide range of different mezze, including some great flatbread with different dips. And there was one particular dip that we loved so much, I tried to recreate it at home.

I think I came pretty close, and we’ve been eating it regularly. I use a lot of dill and grilled (bell) peppers in my version. I love to serve this dip with homemade flatbread (dead easy to make!), spicy meatballs and a feta-carrot salad. It’s so cozy sitting around the table and using small pieces of bread to dip (and top off with a meatball, if balance is one of your skills. If not, just use your hands to shove them in, it will save you a lot of time doing laundry while wondering why you can never keep a shirt clean for more than a few hours…).

Middle eastern inspired mezze

Middle eastern inspired mezze

The meatballs are inspired by the wonderful book Homemade by Yvette van Boven, the original recipe calls for way more (and other) ingredients than I had at home the first time I wanted to make them. So this is an adapted version of her recipe. I like to combine the meatballs, bread and dips with an easy salad made of grated carrots, coriander and feta. For me, this combines wonderfully with the rest and I do love a full table of food!

Middle eastern inspired mezze

Middle eastern inspired mezze

It’s the perfect food for when you have friends coming over. It’s a very casual dinner, with a table full of plates to share while you discuss world politics, or the Eurovision Songcontest if that’s your thing (if it is, let me know, I’d love to come over and chat about it!).
And the best thing, you can prepare most of it in advance. The salad can be made earlier on the day, as long as you wait with adding the vinaigrette until the last moment. The meatballs can be made well before, you just have to heat them just before dinner time. And of course, the dip can also be made and stored in the fridge until serving (take the dip out an hour before serving, completely chilled isn’t the best temperature to eat this).

Middle eastern inspired mezze

Middle eastern inspired mezze

The only thing I recommend making on the spot, is the flatbread. Like most homemade bread (except sourdough maybe), these breads are best enjoyed freshly baked.

Bon appétit!

Full table
Serves: 4
  • 150 gr (7/8 cup) grilled red (bell) pepper*
  • 170 gr (2/3 cup) greek yogurt
  • Handful of fresh dill
  • Pinch of chili
  • Salt & pepper
  • 150 gr grated carrot
  • 50 gr feta, crumbled
  • Handful of coriander/cilantro leaves, shredded
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • 600 gr ground beef
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • Handful fresh coriander/cilantro, shredded
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, roasted
  • Salt & pepper
  • 500 gr flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 7 gr dried fast-action yeast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  1. Put all the ingredients for the dip, except the salt & pepper, in a blender
  2. Blend until you have a smooth mixture
  3. Season with salt & pepper
  4. Mix carrots, feta and coriander together
  5. Whisk the olive oil and vinegar to a vinaigrette, season with salt & pepper
  6. Dress the salad just before serving
  7. Mix all the ingredients together
  8. Form small balls, this is easier with wet hands
  9. Heat a bit of oil in a pan, and bake the meatballs (about 6-8 minutes,depending on the size of the balls, and your preference)
  10. Mix together flour, salt, yeast and olive oil
  11. Add the water, and knead until you have a couple dough
  12. Leave to rise for 60 minutes
  13. Divide the dough into 8 parts
  14. Roll out until about 1 cm thick
  15. Sprinkle with nigella seeds
  16. Heat a dry pan and roast the breads in about 2 minutes per side
* If you use grilled peppers in a jar, make sure to drain them very well, or your dip will be too liquid


8 Responses

    • Eva in the Kitchen

      Haha Thank you Caroline! You’re absolutely right, and you know what? I think Australia should enter, you guys deserve it and it would be great fun!

  1. Kim

    Sounds like a great dish! I was looking for something special for my boyfriend’s birthday next week, with things that can be prepared beforehand, and now I found it! I’ll let you know how it turned out! :)


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