This is a feast that takes about an hour to prepare but it is well worth the effort. It’s perfect for when you want nibbly kind of food, rather than something heavy. You can take a sample of each of the offerings, or buy some pita bread and turn it into a wrap. With a dollop of yoghurt, a splash of harissa (which is part of the Caponata recipe here) the first taste will make you forget how long you spent in the kitchen.
Each of the elements takes about 10 minutes to prepare, but most need a little time in the oven. So planning the order to make things is really helpful. Start by putting the capsicum for the harissa in the oven, and placing the eggplants over the flame and then into the oven. By the time they are done, you will have made the meatballs and be ready to swap the others out. Or if timing is a little out, just stick them in together. Once that’s done, blitz the chickpeas for the hummus, make the tabouleh, then finish off the harissa and baba ganoush. If you wrap the meatballs in foil when they come out of the oven, they will stay warm and be ready to go when you’ve finished everything else.
I’ve used coriander instead of parsley in the tabouleh because I don’t like the taste of parsley and avoid it whenever possible. It’s a great alternative, but if you prefer parsley, stick to the traditional version. Hummus is included in this spread too: the recipe is here.
We love this selection of Lebanese inspired foods. Everything is so easy to make. Unfortunately you do need a food processor for the hummus, baba ganoush, and harissa but a stick blender would probably do the job. Add some toasted pita breads for dipping and you’re sure to savour every mouthful. Enjoy!
- 500 g lamb mince
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 handful coriander, chopped
- 1 handful mint leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons harissa paste
- 60 grams burghul
- 2 handfuls chopped coriander
- 1 handful chopped mint
- 100g cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- the juice of 1-2 lemons
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 3 medium sized aubergines
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Half bunch of coriander leaves, picked
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands to combine thoroughly. Roll the mixture into golf sized balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Flatten slightly so they are plump oval shapes.
- Cook in oven for 10-15 minutes, until they are cooked through and brown on the outside. Turn half way through the cooking time.
- Cook the burghul according to packet instructions.
- Fluff up with a fork and add the mint, coriander, tomatoes and spring onions. Mix through.
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir.
- Pre-heat oven to 190C.
- Prick each eggplant with a fork then char the skin all around by placing it over the flame on a gas stove top. If you don't have gas burners just skip this bit.
- Once charred, place the eggplant in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until eggplants are very soft.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool.
- Peel the eggplant or cut it in half and remove the flesh by scraping it with a spoon.
- Place the flesh and all the other ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Season if necessary with more salt and lemon juice.
- Refrigerate until needed.