I have grouped the recipes from Friday’s dinner, so this is the first lot.
Hummus, serves 6 as mezze
1 can chickpeas (400 g)
a splash of water
2 tbsp tahini
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic
Pour lemon juice, tahini, water and drained chickpeas into a food processor (or use a stick blender) and add some oil. Mix and add oil as you go until the hummus has the desired texture. Season to taste with lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and tahini.
The next dip is almost as common as hummus in the Middle East, but less known here. The proper version is the one I made with ground almonds, but sometimes you can get a cheaper version were the almonds are substituted by breadcrumbs. We learned the rule in Syria, that if you get the almond-version in a restaurant it is a good restaurant, and if you get the bastard-version then of course, it is not as good.
Muhammara, serves 6 as mezze
120 ml ground almonds (or breadcrumbs)
2-4 garlic cloves
1/2 small onion, finely chopped or 1 tsp onion powder
spicy pepper purée (mine is from Syria, but a combination of sambal oelek and pickled peppers will probably work)
70 ml tahini
70 ml pomegranate molasses
aleppo/cayenne pepper if more heat is required
60 ml olive oil
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with cumin and salt. The dip should have she same texture as hummus so adjust accordingly.
Flatbread is another must when it comes to mezze, and the homemade version is miles better than the storebought option. This recipe is from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Everyday and it is incredibly easy to make. We had a few leftover and I can happily tell you that they were just as good the next day.
Flatbread, makes 8
250 g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil/ rapeseed oil
150 ml varm water
Pour the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the oil to the water and pour it into the bowl while stiring with a wooden spoon/fork. Mix thorougly and knead with your hands for a few minutes. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide it into eight pieces. Roll each piece flat with a rolling bin with plenty of flour. Heat up a dry frying pan on high heat, then lower to medium heat before cooking each bread for a few minutes on each side.