“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”
Hors D’oeuvre Middle Eastern Style
“Did you wash your hands?” Eyes blazing, intended to induce fear and obedience.
“Yes Sittoo, I washed my hands.” A similar set of equally ferocious eyes rolling skyward.
“Did you touch the door handle on your way out of the washroom?” Smug.
“No Sittoo, I used my elbows to open the door.” Touché… and a lie… but her laughter was worth having to go back and re wash before I was allowed to help.
I was always quick to volunteer in the kitchen when a big family party was planned. (I’ll tell you about being allowed to grind the lamb for Kibbee sometime. I didn’t ask to do it again anytime soon I can tell you!). But a party didn’t have to be planned for one to break out at Sittoo’s house.
My Grandmother always seemed to have a menu worked out in her head and was always at the ready, like a soldier of the culinary world… more like a general however once she had help. And since “The House” as it was commonly called by one and all, could go from quiet and peaceful to party central in a matter of moments, it’s no wonder she was always prepping something or other.
And believe me when I say that EVERYONE came with an appetite!
I guess a little, okay a lot, of my Sittoo’s kitchen preparedness has rubbed off on me. There is nothing I love more than suddenly having a bunch of hungry people milling around my kitchen. And who doesn’t love a kitchen party!
These dips are so easy and only one of them requires any forethought whatsoever which makes them absolutely ideal for the always popular kitchen party! Why? Because with two of these dips you can just throw all the ingredients into whatever you plan to serve them in (or whatever bowl is closest at hand if that’s how you roll 😉 ) and pass them over to one of the guests and let them do the heavy lifting!
As long as they’ve washed their hands of course 🙂
I love how these work together as a trio and yet each has a distinctive flavour all to its own. They’re really delicious and I hope you will try them all.
Enjoy & Namaste
- SPICY FETA DIP
- 200 grams feta cheese
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp (more for drizzling) olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- chilli pepper to liking
- CHICK PEA CRUSH (like Hummus but a little more rustic in its preparation and presentation)
- 1 tin chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 tsp tahini
- ¼ cup lemon juice (more or less to taste)
- ½ tsp cumin
- BABA GHANOUJ
- 2 medium or 1 large eggplant
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 TBSP tahini
- ½ cup lemon juice (more or less to taste)
- Parsley to garnish
- SPICY FETA DIP
- In a bowl, mash feta with the back of a fork until it is even in consistency.
- Add Greek yogurt to feta stirring to combine.
- Add olive oil and red wine vinegar, more less of the vinegar depending on your personal preference for acidity.
- Season with chilli pepper.
- Drizzle top with good quality olive oil and a few more chilli flakes
- CHICK PEA CRUSH
- Toss the rinsed chick peas into a largish mortar and pestle (or bowl)
- Mince 2 cloves of garlic with a bit of salt
- Add garlic, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and cumin to the mortar.
- Mash to desired consistency, adjusting liquid (olive oil and lemon juice) as required.
- BABA GHANOUJ
- Pre-heat oven to 375.
- Slice eggplant in half, using a fork, give them several good jabs to help cook more quickly and evenly. Place face side down on oiled cookie sheet.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked through and fully tender.
- Once cooled enough to handle, scrape insides into bowl of food processor.
- add garlic which you have roughly chopped, or just given a smack with the flat side of a chef's knife, tahini and lemon juice
- Give it a whirl, transfer to serving bowl and top with garnish of choice.