A mega quick one, as I’m off to catch a flight in about an hour! I’m flying to my hometown of Derry to see the Fam but also to host a Vegan dinnerparty, which is being covered by the local magazine Pure – eek!!! They have a section called ‘Come Dine With Me’ – the concept being loosely based on the tv show of the same name although thank goodness I don’t have to cook for strangers. That might be a stress too far. I’m so excited because this is their first ever Vegan dinnerparty so the pressure is most certainly on!
In preparation for the dinnerparty I’ve been testing a few recipes particularly for the nibbles. I need to create a good first impression so the nibbles are pretty important to me. I thought a couple of dips plus a small selection of canapes would be nice and because I’ve pretty much nailed hummus it was time to perfect my mutabal – sometimes known as baba ganoush (that name makes me giggle). I first discovered mutabal whilst working at The Roundhouse in Camden. It was a stonkingly good mutabal too and I always hoped for leftovers at the end of day so I could take some home – couldn’t get enough of the stuff.
Great in sandwiches, as a dip, spread on toast – versatile, yummy with a very distinctive taste, I can’t speak highly enough it. It always comes as a surprise to me when someone doesn’t share the same enthusiasm for a dish I am stir crazy about. According to my Hubbie aubergines are an acquired taste – that didn’t stop him from wolfing down a whole load of it with his falafel dinner last night mind you!
Right, I really must stop talking. One last thing before I go – the tahini dressing is also great with falafel, as a dressing for salads, mixed through pasta, rice. Again, really versatile, really delicious and apparently there’s calcium in sesame seeds so great for us wee Vegans:)
2 aubergines (eggplant)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup tahini
juice one lemon
2/3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling on top
handful freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit.
Cut the aubergines lengthways and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes until the flesh is soft.
Allow to cool before removing the flesh from the skin. I use a spoon to scoop it out. Chop finely with a knife and then go over it with a fork ensuring there are no lumps. You could put it in a food processor for ease but I find you get a nice texture this way.
Place the flesh into a bowl along with crushed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Give it thorough mix before stirring in the tahini and finally the parsley. Taste, season and place in fridge until needed.
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
2/3 tbsp olive oil (i used extra virgin)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Put the tahini into a bowl. Add the crushed garlic, season and then pour in the lemon juice and olive oil. It will become quite stiff – that is fine. Loosen it with warm water until you get a smooth consistency.
Add the vinegar. Taste, season and lastly stir in the chopped parsley. Store in a clean jar and place in fridge – it should keep for quite a few days. Use as you would any dressing.