Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Tabbouleh

Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Tabbouleh

I love Mediterranean and Middle-East cuisine. The taste, the colors, the oh-so-many options you have to combine and to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal are almost endless. This time, just these 3 names brings so many rich flavors to my mouth, and they are so So SO easy to make! You won’t go disappointed with Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Tabbouleh salad.

Common in all Middle-East (I know them because of the many Lebanese small restaurants in my country, and also have seen jewish friends enjoying this food), Hummus and Baba Ghanoush are vegetables creams. Hummus is based on chickpeas while Baba Ghanoush main ingredient is eggplant. Tabbouleh is the famous all-diced-very-small parsley based salad. Accompany all that with pita bread and you’ll have a delicious, healthy and quite complete meal!

My version of Baba Ghanoush might differ from other recipes. I developed this one out of lack of time to cook, so instead of baking/smoking the eggplant on the oven, wrapped in aluminium foil or just open in a baking tray, I simply roast them in the grill pan, or direct on the non-stick pan (or both if I’m making a lot).  The roasted eggplant sprinkled with a bit of salt, rivals with any other chip or snack you might have tried before.

hummus-bg-tabb-5Some ingredients are common for all 3 dishes (olive oil, lemon, garlic, etc), but one is very important as without it, you won’t achieve that taste that makes these creams (and salad) unique: roasted Sesame Seeds! or if you prefer you can buy, or can also make it (recipe coming soon) the delicious Tahini paste (sesame seeds paste). Both way to add the sesame seeds are delicious. With Tahini you will have a smoother cream.

 

So let’s start with my versions of both creams and hope you try them!

Baba Ghanoush

hummus-bg-tabbIngredients: (for 2-3 servings)

  • 2 Eggplants
  • 1 or 2 Garlic cloves (depends on how much you like garlic or not)
  • Juice from half a Lemon
  • 2-3 Tbsp Olive oil.
  • Salt and Pfeffer to taste.
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sweet red paprika powder.
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder.
  • 2-3 Tbsp Roasted Sesame seeds.

Hummus

Ingredients: (for 2-3 servings)

  • 1 to 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 or 2 Garlic cloves (depends on how much you like garlic or not)
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt and Pfeffer to taste.
  • 1Tbsp Sweet red paprika powder.
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin powder.
  • 2-3 Tbsp Roasted Sesame seeds.
  • Some water at hand in case is needed.

Preparation:

 

Baba Ghanoush:

ganoushPre-heat your grill or non-stick pan. Wash the eggplants and cut away the top with the steam and discard. Slice the rest of the eggplant. Slices should be around 5mm (1/4 in) thick or less. Place them on your pan and let them roast. Keep checking on them so they don’t burn too much. The slices will get a bit greenish while the water contained in the vegetable evaporates. When the slices look dry enough turn them around until they are roasted on both sides.

Tip: You can start making the Hummus while the eggplants roast.

Once all the eggplant slices are roasted, transfer all the ingredients to your food processor or a bowl to use your hand blender. Check taste and correct seasoning as needed.

 

Hummus:

hummusThe chickpeas can be bought in a can ready to use, or you can cook them yourself, but for making this recipe, you might have them cooked the day before. To cook chickpeas is a long process but is well worth it as the taste is much more rich than the ones from the can. Soak them overnight, and then cook them in enough boiling water with salt (if you don’t plan to make any cookies or cakes with them), and a pinch of baking soda. Don’t forget to remove as much foam as you can when the water starts to boil. Then add 1 Tbsp Olive oil. This will reduce the foam formation and spilling out of your cooking pot.

Around 35-40 minutes after check if the chickpeas are soft. The ideal softness/hardness of the grain (at least for me), is something in between, not too soft as going puree not that hard that you still feel hard bits when munching it. Set apart, drain the water out (reserve a bit, some people save it for soups. I don’t like it). Place them in a safe bowl and add the water you reserved to keep them moist. Let them cool down before storing on your fridge or before using them for your Hummus.

The hummus process cannot be easier, just add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hand blender, or just add them to your food processor and click the magic button. Check taste and correct seasoning as needed.

 

Tabbouleh


Ingredients
: (for 2-3 servings)

  • hummus-bg-tabb-4A big bunch of fresh Parsley (the home grown bunch of the photos makes 2 servings. Feel free to add more if you wish).
  • Some fresh mint leaves (also from my garden).
  • 6-8 Cherry tomatoes (the photo are my home grown mini cherries. Of the medium size cherry tomatoes, use 3 or 4).
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Garlic clove (or 1/2 tsp Garlic powder). Add more if you like its tangy flavor.
  • 3-4 Tbsp cooked Couscous or 2-3 Tbsp Bulgur (I prefer Couscous, much finer taste and texture).
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper
  • Salt, pfeffer, sweet red paprika powder and cumin powder to season.
  • 2-3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Roasted Sesame seeds.

Preparation:

hummus-bg-tabb-11Chop the parsley and the mint leaves very fine. Dice bell pepper and tomatoes very small. Transfer to a bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients. Check seasoning. Done!

And don’t forget to add a pita bread, or make your own. You can also try indian Naan Bread, or any kind of flat bread. Crackers also combine good.

Or if you prefer some meat, accompany with grilled chicken or turkey breast, or stripes of beef slightly fried, or a nice grilled thin low-fat beef steak.

Or just alone ;)

hummus-bg-tabb-12

 

 

 

 

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