Week 24 - Lebanese mezze

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Cover picture courtesy of @veganphysicist_com


A culinary trip to Lebanon sees some crispy falafels, hummus and babaganoush dips with a herby flatbread and a fresh tabbouleh salad for dinner!


Ingredients (4 people)

Tahini paste (jar)

2 lemons

1 lime

1 brown onion

2 small aubergines (small is less bitter)

Cucumber

Bulgar wheat

Spring onions (small bunch)

Tomatoes - 4 nice vine ones

Bicarbonate of soda

Half mug of flour (any)

1 can of chickpeas

200-250g of uncooked, dried chickpeas - soak these overnight in lots of water

Plant-based milk

Plant-based plain yoghurt


Herbs & spice: garlic, big bunch of parsley, bunch of coriander and mint, cumin and coriander powder


Luxury ingredients (optional)

Pomegranate

Sesame seeds/flaxseeds

Small bunch of dill

Pine nuts

Halloumi


For this recipe you will need a blender, ideally a big flat one, although you can use a hand blender.

Selection of meals prepared by the foodies in this week's class


PREP

Boil kettle · Put on grill to medium high · Get out blender


Prick your aubergines several time with a fork and put under the grill. You are going to cook them for about 15 mins under the grill turning every few minutes. You're looking for them to be chargrilled, burnt, blistered and charred for the perfect taste! Set aside to cool.


Meanwhile, put your bulgur wheat on to cook: measure 1 part to 3 parts stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the water is mostly evaporated - then put a lid on and let it rest for 10 mins.


Falafel

Drain your soaked chickpeas and put in food processor. Add:

  • Lots of cloves of garlic (at least 3) and lots of black pepper

  • A chopped onion

  • A big handful of green herbs - we used dill, mint, coriander and parsley but any will leafy ones will work

  • 2tsp of cumin powder, 2tsp of coriander powder, fresh/dried chilli to taste

  • 2tbsp sesame/flaxseeds

Blend until you get the texture of couscous and when you squeeze the mixture stays together. Don't over-blend or you'll end up with hummus. Put this in the fridge now.


Hummus

It's super easy to make your own hummus, plus it's cheaper, less plastic and healthier than shop bought ones.


For a basic hummus, blend the following:

  • Tin of cooked chickpeas

  • 2tbsp of tahini paste

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 2 glugs of olive oil

  • 15mls water

  • Salt

Now taste and adjust with more lemon, salt or tahini. If it's too grainy add a little more olive oil or water to loosen the mixture.


For extra flavours you can add sun-dried tomatoes, olives, herbs, garlic etc.... really most things, so play around and enjoy


Babaganoush

Hopefully your aubergines have cooled now so carefully peel off the skin and put the flesh into a small mixing bowl - try to avoid putting the strands of seeds in too as these can be bitter.


Add in the juice of half a lemon, 2tbsp tahini, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a few glugs of olive oil, some pepper and chopped parsley.


Again, taste and adjust to your preference. Then top with fresh parsley, black pepper, chopped chilli and the pine nuts.

Flatbreads left, hummus centre, babaganoush right


Tabbouleh

Now that your bulgar wheat has cooled, add into your serving dish and mix with chopped tomatoes, cucumber and spring onions.


Add lots of freshly chopped herbs: 3/4 of your fresh parsley and a handful of mint.


Although not traditional, it's really nice to top with pomegranate seeds! A simple dressing of lime juice, olive oil and salt goes well here.


Herby flatbreads

This is such a simple quick flatbread recipe. Mix half a mug of any flour in a big bowl with 1/2tsp of bicarbonate of soda and some salt. Chop fresh green herbs of your choice and add to the mixture.


Fill a quarter of the mug with milk, a dollop of yoghurt and juice of 1/2 lemon.


Now, SLOWLY add HALF of the liquid to the flour and mix with a fork. You may not have to use all the wet ingredients. You are looking for the flour to come together in a ball which is not sticky, ie. if you pick it up and squeeze, it should not stick to your hands.


Let this rest covered while you cook the falafels.


Falafels: take these out of the fridge. Heat about an inch of oil on medium high OR put your oven on to 180· fan/200 convection.


Mould your falafels into balls or patties. You can fry these off until golden brown or put on a tray in the oven for around 20 minutes - they won't go the same brown colour but will taste good (and are healthier).


To cook your flatbreads, heat a fry pan to medium head with a little oil. Roll out your breads really thin until you can see the herbs, then cook until browned on both side. Top with fried/grilled halloumi.

Join us for a future Tuesday cooking class or view all past recipes

Tag us on Instagram if you use any of these recipes and we'll add you to our story! @cookwithkelly

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