So, as distraction this weekend, I decided I fancied a meze plate with a slight tapas twist. All done from scratch, but without too much faffing about. Takes less time than heating up some crappy ready meal. And, as I keep banging on about, you know what's in it and can change it to suit you.
This is fab for kids as they can pick at bits and try new stuff. The resident little person is very impressed with the beetroot hummus (I suspect that this is mainly because it's pink, but I'll take that).
Add pitta breads if you like, or tzatziki. Hey, or baklava if you must.
The point is that you decide. You're in control.
2 cooked beetroots (vac packed from Tesco if you like, not in vinegar though)
1 tin chickpeas, drained.
3 cloves garlic (you might prefer a bit less, we LOVE garlic).
Whizz the beetroots, garlic and chickpeas together, add the juice of the lemon, season to taste (I use sumac rather than salt). You probably need to loosen this with a bit of water to get the right consistency. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and sesame seeds to make it look pretty.
One bulb of garlic.
Make a small hole in the aubergine skin (otherwise it will explode impressively, trust me...). Roast with the garlic (leave this unpeeled and whole) for about 30-45 mins until very soft. Leave to cool.
Chop the top off the bulb of garlic and squeeze all the cloves out into a bowl. Scrape the flesh out of the aubergine skin, mash together.
Nice with za'atar on top if you have any, and plenty of black pepper.
4 red peppers
Juice of half a lemon.
Remove seeds from peppers. Roast in the oven for 30-45 mins until they go a bit charry round the edges. Add lemon to serve.
1 red chilli (remove the seeds if you like).
Roast in the oven for (you guessed it) 30-45 mins until the skins have blackened slightly. Whizz up.
500g broad beans, cooked (frozen ones are fine).
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1 green chilli, finely chopped.
Chickpea flour (optional)
Toast the seeds in a dry frying pan, and grind in a pestle and mortar. Whizz up the broad beans, add the egg, chilli and spices and stir to mix well. Liberally flour your hands and shape the mixture into about 8 balls. You can either fry these, or bake in the oven (about 30 mins conveniently....).
Can't be arsed to make the hummus? Get it from the supermarket then! Though do check the labels - 'healthy choice' hummus is not always 'better' than the standard variety... They also sell roasted peppers (again, check the label as these come full of oil), olives and feta and tasty things like that you can add to make this a proper feast. You can also add some tahini or oil to the hummus if you like, but I find I don't notice their absence.
You can also change the amounts of chilli and garlic in there, but if you've read one of my previous postings you'll know I like to keep Mr Strongman Fitness ex-wife-proof, just to be on the safe side :)
I hope you enjoy this. I know I did!