A Mediterranean Feast – Baba Ganoush, Tzatziki, Tabouli & Lamb Stuffed Peppers
I’m punishing myself…so instead of extending this for 4 glorious recipe posts which would buy me a Get-Out-of-Food-Photography-While-You-Cook card, I am including all the recipes you need to put on a fabulous fete. You’re welcome.
The guilt is nagging away at me. Seriously, Dhale?! Only two posts in May?!?! I should wear the cone of shame (“Up” movie reference if you heard crickets when I said this).
So what’s a girl to do when she’s been upgraded to a real stove and counter space? Make multiple dishes in a matter of hours, of course! Well, at least that’s what I did to commemorate this momentous event.
The cardboard fortresses had finally dissipated and I couldn’t wait to start cooking in our new kitchen! You can’t imagine how inefficient you are when there is no working space – any multi dimensional meals had to be carefully planned, prepped and executed. With this kitchen experience under my belt I was able to whip up this feast in our new kitchen in less than two hours!
Follow my lead and you’ll have your Mediterranean feast faster than the time it will take you to name all the Mediterranean countries off the top of your head! Hint: There are 21. I think.
|2||large eggplants (the fatty oval kind)|
|1/2||cup Tahini paste|
|3||Tbsp lemon juice||1/4||tsp paprika|
|olive oil (garnish)|
|black olives (garnish)|
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a fork, poke several holes in each eggplant to prevent them from bursting in the oven (trust me, I learned the hard way). Place the eggplants directly on the rack and place a large sheet of foil at the bottom of the oven to catch any dripping juices (makes for an easier clean-up). Roast the eggplants for about 1 hour depending on your smoky taste preference.
- While your eggplants are roasting, move on to preparing the lamb and tzatziki.
- Once the eggplants are done, carefully remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Next place them in a plastic bag and allow to cool completely, another 15-20 minutes (this will make it easier to peel off the skin).
- Meanwhile, take the garlic cloves and a little bit of sea salt and grind into a paste using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
- Remove the pulp of the eggplant and place in a large mixing bowl. Discard skin and stems. Add the garlic paste, tahini paste, lemon juice and paprika to the mixing bowl. Using your pestle, mash the entire mixture until you have a smooth consistency (some people use a food processor but I prefer the texture you get from the pestle). Season with salt if needed. Makes approximately 3-4 cups of baba ganoush.
|Lamb Stuffed Peppers|
|4||large bell peppers|
|1||lb ground lamb|
|1||cup feta cheese|
|2||Tbsp fresh mint, finely minced||1||Tbsp fresh parsley, finely minced|
|1 1/2||tsp garlic powder|
|1||tsp dried dill|
|1||tsp dried basil|
|salt & pepper|
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the bell peppers. Use your hands and mix thoroughly but do not squeeze the meat! Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops off the bell peppers (reserve them as garnish) and scoop out the seeds. Stuff with lamb mixture and place in an oven-safe baking dish along with the bell pepper tops. Drizzle a little olive oil over the contents and bake for 40 minutes or until the peppers are tender. Serve immediately.
|2 1/2||cup Greek strained yogurt|
|1 1/2||cup cucumber, diced and seeded|
|1||Tbsp fresh mint, finely minced||1/2||lemon, juiced|
|1||tsp dried dill|
|salt & pepper to taste|
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
|1/2||bunch flat leaf parsley, finely minced|
|2||Tbsp fresh mint, finely minced|
|12||grape tomatoes, quartered|
|1||lemon, juiced||1||cup bulgur, soaked in 1 1/4 cup hot water for 20 minutes|
- In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients thoroughly except for the olive oil. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Drizzle with olive oil prior to serving.