Mezze 1

  • Babaganoyj (eggplant)
  • Tomato salad
  • chickpea dip with “beef”
  • potato kibbeh

The list above is what I had intended to make for our first mezze night. It didn’t work out exactly as I had hoped though.

First to make the babaganoyj (spelling taken from the book I used, but there seem to be a few ways). The recipe, from the book Arak and Mezze: The Taste of Lebanon, said to put the whole eggplant in the oven and roast it, turning, until the skin was brown. It seemed unlikely to happen in the 5 minutes prescribed, but I gave it a go. It took 15 minutes, but it did get there, to my relief.

Next was to scoop out the flesh and mash it. As I sliced into the eggplant I could sense there might be a problem – it was a really, really seedy one. I was supposed to remove the seeds, but there were just too many, so I left them in. I then tried to mash it, only to find that some of it was better cooked than other parts.

I tried to keep on, and added the tahini, lemon juice, etc, but in the end it was a seedy, uneven, overwhelmingly-tahini-flavoured mush, that just didin’t work. Even Mr thought it was a bit crap, and he eats just about anything. I didn’t get a photo before it was added to the compost, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Ah well, on to the potato kibbeh and tomato salad.

However, I got home, looked through the pantry and realised I didn’t actually buy any potatoes or sour cream (for the tomato salad).

So, onwards and upwards I turned my hand to making cauliflower kibbeh instead. Kibbeh, in this context, seems to mean mashed something with burghul. So, I steamed and mashed and soaked and salted, and it turned out like this:

Kibbeh, tastes much less bland than it looks

A very yummy use of my second favourite vegetable.

For the salad, I just cut up tomatoes, marinated them in lemon juice and sumac, then mixed them with cucumber, parsley and some spinach from our garden. Yum.

Tomato salad, Keira-style

The last part of our meal was the best, and certainly the easiest, due to some cheating on my part.

We had hommus with “beef”, however I used bought hommus from Aldi (perhaps the best bought hommus in Australia) and Sanitarium mince, so it was pretty easy. This was tasty, filling, and a little different than our usual use of hommus, so I’ve added the recipe for you to recreate some fast food at home.

Hommus with "beef" and pine nuts

Easy-Peasy Cheaters’ Vegan Hommus with Beef

  • 250g Hommus
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 packet Sanitarium (or other) vegan mince
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a dry pan toast the pine nuts. Watch them closely, as they burn easily. Put aside.
  2. In the same pan heat some olive oil, and cook the onion for 5-10 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add the mince, and mash with a fork.
  4. Stir the spices through, and add salt to your tastes.
  5. Remove from heat, stir the pine nuts through.
  6. On a serving plate, arrange the hommus in a ring, with a well in the middle. Put the mince and pine-nut mixture into the ring. Serve with vegetables and flat bread.

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