May 15, 2006

obsessing; or, homemade mezze

Because I blew through the hummus and baba and foul moudammas from Middle East Bakery in about two days, but I still had lovely persian breads left, I made a bunch of my own mezze, which came out rather well, if I do say so myself.

First I took my big black eggplant and subjected it to the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe baba ganoush recipe oven treatment: 1 hour at 500F, turning every 15 minutes until it is nearly charred and entirely squishy. Scrape the innards out, cut and mash roughly, add olive oil, garlic crushed to paste with salt, lemon juice, and a bit of tahini. Totally ass-kicking. I love baba ganoush, and fresh-made is totally the shit.

Then I made the black bean hummus recipe from Saveur magazine. Much as you might expect, with tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil and salt in with the can of black beans, but also a bit of cumin and ground coriander, and a quick hit of paprika on top. Very satisfying.

And I did a quick-and-dirty variant on the muhammara recipe in Best Recipe, taking some jarred red peppers and a cup of walnuts and whizzing them up with pomegranate molasses, olive oil, cayenne & salt. This is the easiest thing in the whole world, and so delicious, and unusual enough to be impressive for guests. You could do this and put it on a platter with store bought hummus and baba (not that you'd need to bother, since both of those are wicked easy too), and presto, instant cocktail nibbles. Or dinner, depending on your level of gluttony. Especially if you had some labneh balls and yogurt around too...

Posted by foodnerd at May 15, 2006 07:52 AM
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