Vegan Middle East Mezze
I think that the Middle East cuisine offers some great vegetarian and vegan options, but the food they have to offer is really oily and often oil-based. Something, that can get pretty annoying. However, the stuff they create often is a big inspiration considering that they do use a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, some great quality flour, dates, a big variety of different herbs and spices and loads more! So I thought I’d surprise my parents with a little Middle East Mezze Plate, which they really enjoyed. I have to admit, I bought some pre-made falafels, which I just had to heat up in the end but they loved them anyway (even if not homemade. Bulgur Tabouleh - PrepTime: about 10 minutes / CookingTime: 10 minutes / serves 2 Baba Ganoush - PrepTime: about 5 to 10 minutes / BakingTime: 30 minutes / serves 2-4 Classic Wheat Pita Bread - PrepTime: 2 hours / BakingTime: about 5-7 minutes / 4 pitas
- 2/3 cup bulgur wheat
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- handful cherry tomatoes
- handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- some fresh black pepper + pink himalayan salt (you can use sea salt instead)
- 1 mini cucumber
- 1 medium sized eggplant
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 squeeze of lemon
- pinch black pepper and salt
- a few fresh parsley leaves
- 150 g unbleached all purpose wheat flour
- half a packet of dry active yeast
- 2/3 cup lukewarm water
- pinch coconut sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- For the Bulgur Tabouleh:
- This is like literally super easy, just pour as much water as suggested on the package of the bulgur and the grain into a cooking pot, cover with a lid and let it simmer on medium to low heat until the water is fully absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, chop up the tomatoes, the cucumber, the mint and the parsley. If the bulgur is ready, add the chopped up veggies & greens, the olive oil, the lemon juice and the salt & pepper. Stir and set aside.
- For the Baba Ganoush:
- First of all, pinch the eggplant on the outside several times using a fork. Put it into a preheated oven (about 200 degrees Celsius) and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile put the rest of the ingredient into a blender and blend until it reaches a creamy consistency, set it aside afterwards.
- If the eggplant is ready, take it out and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, peel the skin off and cut it into little pieces. You could add it to the creamy paste and blend it a few rounds at this point, but I simply mashed it with a fork and added the mixture afterwards. Stir and set aside.
- Classic Wheat Pita Bread:
- Start off by mixing together the flour and salt. Then, put the yeast, 1/3 a cup of the lukewarm water and the pinch of coconut sugar into a bowl and let the yeast foam up. When the yeast has foamed up, add it together with the oil and the rest of the water to the dough. You might need some less water/more flour. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
- Take it out of the bowl you’ve been mixing it all together in and knead it to a soft and smooth ball. You might want to flour the surface. Lightly grease a fresh bowl with olive oil and put the dough somewhere warm for the next 1-1 1/2 hours. If the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl, lightly flour the surface and cut it into 4 even sized pieces. Roll each out into a 1 to 2 inch thick circle. Put them onto a lightly floured baking tray and let the circles rest for about 20 minutes. Then, put them into a preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius) and let them bake until they’ve popped up and are golden brown.
- Take them out of the oven and serve them immediately or store them in a kitchen towel to keep them soft (shouldn't take to long until you eat them though).
- Put everything onto a plate, assembled with some falafels, red grapes, hummus, tomatoes and some olives. Enjoy!