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Pita Bread Party Dinner

Entertaining a group of friends on a carefree summer day can be as simple as one, two, three.
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Step 1: Prepare a bunch of mix-and-match meze-style dishes.

Small plates made with robust Middle Eastern flavors are meant for sharing (and work well at room temperature).

Step 2: Let everyone create their own combinations.

Experimenting with the variety of flavors and textures is encouraged. There's crisp and creamy, cool and fiery, herbal and nutty -- sometimes all in a single bite.

Step 3: Make your own pita bread!

Yes, homemade pita: It's pillowy and flavorful with a great chew, ideal for stuffing or scooping up dips and spreads. And watching the rounds puff up in the oven will amaze you.

Do-Ahead Dinner Party

All of these vibrant and delectable recipes -- kebabs, spreads, sauces, and relishes -- can be prepared in advance. These dishes combine beautifully, so you can’t go wrong -- you can even stuff a little of everything into one pita.
  • Grilled Kofta Kebabs
    Grilled Kofta Kebabs
    The term "kofta" refers to a mixture of seasoned ground meat, which is often formed into ovals, skewered, and grilled. We used lamb and turkey for these.
  • Red Bean-Tahini Spread
    Red Bean-Tahini Spread
    Take a break from the same ol' hummus by trading chickpeas for kidney beans and spicing things up with some coriander and sumac.
  • Sliced Cucumber, Tomatoes, and Red Onion
    Sliced Cucumber, Tomatoes, and Red Onion
    A simple bowl of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion provides bright color and fresh flavor to the mealtime spread.
  • Fresh Mint
    Fresh Mint
    Mint sprigs are more than just a garnish; the cooling herb is a perfect counterpoint to the other elements.
  • Pita Bread
    Pita Bread
    The pitas can be stuffed with ingredients or wrapped around them. Either way, they make a hearty hands-on meal.
  • Yogurt-Cucumber Dressing with Za'atar
    Yogurt-Cucumber Dressing with Za'atar
    Refreshing and creamy cucumber-yogurt dressing gets extra depth from a sprinkling of za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend composed of sesame seeds, thyme, and sumac.
  • Chopped-Chile Relish
    Chopped-Chile Relish
    Choose your own adventure when tossing together this easy chile relish: begin with Anaheim or banana peppers if you like to keep things mild, or go with spicy Fresno or jalapeno chiles if you want to get a little wild.
  • Lebanese Tomato Sauce
    Lebanese Tomato Sauce
    Ripe summer tomatoes need very little coaxing to be turned into a spectacular sauce: just crushed garlic, cumin seeds, and a zap of red pepper flakes.
  • Sumac-Mint Fizz
    Sumac-Mint Fizz
    Sumac, a citrusy spice, is used to make a simple syrup that combines with lime, mint, and seltzer in this effervescent ade.
  • Grilled Kofta Kebabs
    Grilled Kofta Kebabs
    The term "kofta" refers to a mixture of seasoned ground meat, which is often formed into ovals, skewered, and grilled. We used lamb and turkey for these.
  • Yogurt-Cucumber Dressing with Za'atar
    Yogurt-Cucumber Dressing with Za'atar
    Refreshing and creamy cucumber-yogurt dressing gets extra depth from a sprinkling of za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend composed of sesame seeds, thyme, and sumac.
  • Red Bean-Tahini Spread
    Red Bean-Tahini Spread
    Take a break from the same ol' hummus by trading chickpeas for kidney beans and spicing things up with some coriander and sumac.
  • Chopped-Chile Relish
    Chopped-Chile Relish
    Choose your own adventure when tossing together this easy chile relish: begin with Anaheim or banana peppers if you like to keep things mild, or go with spicy Fresno or jalapeno chiles if you want to get a little wild.
  • Sliced Cucumber, Tomatoes, and Red Onion
    Sliced Cucumber, Tomatoes, and Red Onion
    A simple bowl of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion provides bright color and fresh flavor to the mealtime spread.
  • Lebanese Tomato Sauce
    Lebanese Tomato Sauce
    Ripe summer tomatoes need very little coaxing to be turned into a spectacular sauce: just crushed garlic, cumin seeds, and a zap of red pepper flakes.
  • Fresh Mint
    Fresh Mint
    Mint sprigs are more than just a garnish; the cooling herb is a perfect counterpoint to the other elements.
  • Pita Bread
    Pita Bread
    The pitas can be stuffed with ingredients or wrapped around them. Either way, they make a hearty hands-on meal.
  • Sumac-Mint Fizz
    Sumac-Mint Fizz
    Sumac, a citrusy spice, is used to make a simple syrup that combines with lime, mint, and seltzer in this effervescent ade.
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