Recipe # 5 ARABIC FOOD HANKERINGS.

I had a real hankering a while back for some Middle Eastern mezze… Since I don’t live in Dubai anymore and can’t head to the nearest arab supermarket… I had to make two such cravings myself. Baba ghanoush and some Turkish style spinach. The results were rather delicious… more mezze to come soon 🙂

Mini Mezze Platter: Home made pumpkin seed bread, turkish style spinach (recipe courtesy my Turkish friend, Huma.)

Mini Mezze Platter: Home made pumpkin seed bread, turkish style spinach (recipe courtesy my Turkish friend, Huma.)

Baba Ghanoush with a garnish of Zaatar

Baba Ghanoush with a garnish of Zaatar

You will need:

– 1 roasted aubergine
– 2 tbsp tahini/ (if you don’t have Tahini, you can substitute with sesame seeds soaked in hot water and pounded into a paste in a pestle and mortar)
– 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– 1/4 lemon to spritz into the liquid
– 3-4 tbsp yoghurt

Method:

-Add aubergine, tahini and extra virgin oil to a blender/food processor.
-Add seasonings, lemon juice, and yoghurt. Mix well. Use a spatula to transfer this to a bowl.
-Garnish with zaatar in a design of your choice. I chose a North African inspired design… because they’re cool.

Turkish style Spinach

Turkish style Spinach (garlic and onion aren’t finely chopped.. but should be!)

I first ate this cooked by the fair hands of one of my co-interns during an internship at Sotheby’s, London. She brought in a GIGANTIC platter of Turkish Mezze, and I thought that this would make a rather nice accompaniment to my Aubergine dip…

You will need:
– 1 finely sliced clove of garlic
– 1 cup babyleaf spinach
– 1/4 finely chopped red onion
– salt
– pepper
– lemon juice
– 1 tsp olive/ canola oil for frying
– extra virgin olive oil to finish.

Method:

– In a hot pan add oil, saute garlic and onion for a minute or so.
– Add spinach and wilt down. Add salt, pepper, a small spritz of fresh lemon juice (FYI this releases the iron in the spinach) and cook for a little longer.
– Transfer this to a small bowl, ready for your platter. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and mix in.

Enjoy with fresh bread of your choice… or pita …

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