Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines

    This Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines is a very grown up version of your usual Cranberry Sauce. It’s made by caramelising the sugar first, giving it depth of flavour. Even richer by adding port, taking it into Christmas territory via cinnamon and clementines, all working together wonderfully. You can use it as sauce or, if cooked longer, jam.

     

    Why You Want to Make This

     

    Everyone needs a good Cranberry sauce recipe. Especially if you, like me, are utterly tempted by the lovely bright ruby berries appearing on the supermarket shelves around this time of the year.
    So why would you choose this one, considering you have to *gasp* caramelise sugar for it? (I promise, it’s easy)

    Depth of Flavour

    Have I made the very simple Cranberry sauces and jams that just require you to boil the cranberries with some sugar and be done? Of course I have. Were they good? Absolutely.
    So why go through this extra step? Because caramel flavour just adds a whole new dimension to your sauce. The deeply dark, even slightly burnt, caramel flavour elevates this to a dish worthy for a Christmas Table. Either in form of Sauce or, if you prefer, as I do, as jam on your breakfast table.
    It doesn’t add much extra work either. Just a little patience and occasional swirling of your pot, until you achieve that deep amber colour we are aiming for.

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines

    Port

    Friends told me that for them, Port is the epitome of a Christmas drink. For me, being German, it always was Mulled Wine. So I basically combined the two here by using spices found in mulled wine and adding Port to the Cranberries while cooking, so the alcohol evaporates. It leaves behind its deep, sweet, and fruity notes, adding richness to the slightly astringent cranberries.

    Versatility

    As mentioned above, you can use this as Sauce by cooking shorter and adding some salt and pepper or Jam, by cooking longer. But have you ever tried adding it to butter, making essentially a cranberry compound butter, to spread under chicken skin. This is what I used for my Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken.

     

    The Ingredients

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines_Ingredients

    Cranberries, of course. You can use fresh or frozen here. I used 1 pack of fresh ones as I found them in the supermarket in Ireland.

    Sugar, which will be caramelised first. Caster sugar, being finer, will melt a tiny bit faster, but I used standard white sugar, and it worked just fine.

    2 cinnamon sticks – You could also use ground cinnamon. About 1 tsp should be enough.

    Allspice – This, together with the cinnamon and the clementine zest, gives this sauce it’s very Christmas-like flavour.

    A pinch of salt – Don’t skip this. It might seem like a tiny addition, but it lifts all the other flavours.

    Clementines – Instead of the more classic oranges, I’m using clementines for their sweeter flavour. Both zest and fileted flesh.

    Port – Use whatever port you’d also like to drink. Not only because there will be plenty left over in the bottle, but also because the flavour of it will shine through very clearly.
    If you’d rather not include alcohol, you could use grape juice instead.

    Variations: Try adding a different alcohol. Red wine, for a less sweet flavour or maybe some Amaretto for almond flavour. In Germany it’s sometimes added to mulled wine and it’s delicious.

    Especially if using it as sauce, some Rosemary or Thyme would be lovely here.

    Orange instead of clementine will do just fine and be a little less sweet.

    The Process

     

    For the clementines I specified zest and filets. I grated the zest, then, with a sharp knife, sliced off the top and bottom peel, so I could see the flesh. Then, following the curve of the fruit, I sliced off the skin, to expose the separate segments, taking off the bitter pith. By cutting with a small knife along the dividing skin between the segments, I cut out the little filets.

    If you feel that’s just way too much work, feel free to just squeeze out the juice after zesting.

    In a heavy based pot, for even heat distribution, add the sugar. Without stirring, but the occasional swirl, let it slowly melt and caramelise. It should turn a deep Amber, but not burn. Use your nose to determine when it reaches caramelisation. A stainless steel pot can help too, as you see the colour. Mine is dark and antistick, but the caramel scent worked perfectly, telling me when it was enough.

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines_Process

    Once the caramel has reached the desired colour, add the remaining ingredients, and stir, so everything is coated with the caramel.

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines_Process

    Let the Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines simmer for 10-20 minutes, depending on your desired consistency. I wanted a relatively firm and concentrated Jam I could spread on bread, so mine was cooked close to 20min.

    With a spoon, fish out the cinnamon sticks and discard.

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines_Process

    Serve you Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines either warm, as sauce or fill into a very clean jar and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, if used as Jam. This is lovely either with cold meats (Try Roast Beef with crispy potatoes!) or spread on bread or used in a compound butter for all sorts of recipes.

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines

    Meal Prep

    The Sauce can be made up to a week ahead and will keep fine in the fridge. Just gently warm it through before serving and maybe stir in a little water if needed, as it tends to firm up when cooling.

    As Jam, this is absolutely delicious on my Sourdough Pumpkin Soda Bread, which would be lovely as Christmas breakfast.

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines

    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines

    This Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines is a very grown up version of your usual Cranberry Sauce. It’s made by caramelising the sugar first, giving it depth of flavour. Even richer by adding port, taking it into Christmas territory via cinnamon and clementines, all working together wonderfully. You can use it as sauce or, if cooked longer, jam.
    5 from 17 votes
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Course condiment, Ingredient, Side Dish, spread
    Cuisine American
    Servings 6
    Calories 107 kcal

    Ingredients
      

    • ¾ cup + 1 tbsp 180g white sugar
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • ½ tsp allspice
    • 3 cups 300g fresh or frozen cranberries
    • 3 Clementines zested and filleted
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • Pepper to taste if using as sauce
    • ¼ cup 60ml ruby port

    Instructions
     

    • Put a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and allow the sugar to melt (without stirring) and turn a rich caramel colour before adding the cranberries, clementine filets and zest, spices and port.
    • Stir to coat everything in the caramel. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-20 minutes until the cranberries break down and thicken.
    • If you’d like to use this as sauce, season while cooking with salt and pepper and cook a bit shorter, to achieve a more sauce like consistency. For Jam, cook longer, until very thick.
    • Take out the cinnamon sticks and discard.
    • Pour into a very clean Jar and store in the fridge. The Sauce will keep about 1 week in the fridge.

    Notes

    Meal Prep
    The Sauce can be made up to a week ahead and will keep fine in the fridge. Just gently warm it through before serving and maybe stir in a little water if needed, as it tends to firm up when cooling.
    6 Portions:
    Calories: Approximately 107 calories
    Protein: Approximately 0.3 grams
    Carbohydrates: Approximately 27 grams
    Fat: Approximately 0.1 grams
    Fiber: Approximately 3 grams

    Nutrition

    Calories: 107kcal
    Nutrition Facts
    Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    107
    % Daily Value*
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, For Guests, fruit, meal prep, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

     

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    If you have been following along with my last eight recipes, you already have a good idea of how this Vegetarian Mezze Feast will look like. We are combining all of those delicious dips and snacks into one stunning spread that is worthy of any holiday or festivity. The fact that it’s vegetarian is an added bonus, and I’m pretty sure no carnivore will even waste a thought on the meat, once they see all the stunning variety on offer.

    Why You Want to Make This

    Absolutely Delicious

    I mean, of course that’s the main priority of any feast, isn’t it? Each part on its own is a treat, but combined they form a huge spread no one will be able to resist. Stunning to look at too.

     

    Variety

    There is something for everyone here: Creamy Hummus in two versions plain and Beetroot, easy cooling and crunchy Tzatziki, Bright red and fruity Muhammara made from roasted peppers and walnuts, a Smoky Aubergine dip with Greek yoghurt, extra creamy and easy to make Labneh that can be transformed into a roasted garlic version with lemon. And those are just the dips!

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast

     

    We have Sourdough Flatbread filled with Feta, as a delicious vehicle for all those dips or Sourdough Discard Naan, as a super soft and fluffy alternative and to use as wrap for the Falafel. Or maybe you want to make them both? I sure couldn’t decide.

    Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

    And of course home made Falafel in two versions: Plain and Beetroot. Easier than you think, coming together mostly from Pantry staples, they are a crunch and fluffy treat you just have to try.

    Vegan Falafel Wraps

    To complete all the deliciousness, there is a super quick Cucumber-Tomato salad with fresh parsley that comes together in 5 minutes, an Orange Thyme Tahini dressing (Optional, as you could use hummus), to drizzle over your Falafel and some extra quick marinated Feta, because what would a Middle Eastern Feast be without feta, right?

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Cucumber_Tomato Salad

    And what do you serve with all those dips? I used lots of vegetables for dipping, some dried fruits and nuts, some fresh fruits and ready made things like olives and filled sweet peppers. But your imagination is the limit here. That’s the beauty of this feast: You can make it into whatever you enjoy most.

    Healthy

    Now if the variety above hasn’t convinced you just yet, let me give you some of the health benefits to win you over. And remember, this is for a proper Mezze Feast. Can you think of any other feast with this many health benefits? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

    Hummus, being made from mainly chickpeas, is a great source of protein, which we all need in our diet for building muscle and bone health.

    Hummus Two Ways_Beetroot_Ingredients

    Tzatziki is based on Greek Yoghurt with cucumber and garlic. Again protein from the yogurt, together with gut healthy bacteria and calcium. So is Labneh, which is basically strained Greek yoghurt, resulting in a delicious spreadable consistency similar to cream cheese, but with the tang of yoghurt.

    Easy Tzatziki_Ingredients

    Both the Smoked Aubergine Dip and Muhammara are vegetable based, including fibre, vitamins, and whole range of other benefits. So ideally you eat at least 5 different veggies per day. I usually aim for at least 8, which has helped my weight loss a lot.

    Smoked Aubergine Dip _Ingredients

    Muhammara Ingredients

    Falafel, again being made from chickpeas, is a fantastic source of protein and fibre and several micro nutrients like magnesium and folate.
    I’m deep frying it here, because, after all, this is a feast, and we don’t eat it every day. But you could bake it in the oven or air fryer, if you’d like to eat it on a more regular basis and am watching your weight.

    Now surely the flatbreads can’t be healthy, can they? They can, within reason, if made with sourdough as I am doing here.
    Sourdough has many benefits, among them a lower glycemic index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar, good gut bacteria and easier digestibility, important for those with gluten sensitivity.

    Sourdough Naan

    And of course all the vegetables you serve to scoop up those delicious dips and the Cucumber- Tomato-Salad! This Mezze Feast is sure to have you hit your 5-a-day easily and enjoy it!

    Easy to Prepare Ahead of Time

    I was about to say this is the best part, but honestly, I can’t really decide which one is, so I’ll leave it to you to pick a favourite.
    Anyway, important for the potentially stressful holidays: You can prepare most of the parts well ahead of time.

    All the dips can be made one to two days in advance and keep happily in the fridge until ready to serve.

    The Sourdough Naan and Sourdough Flatbread with Feta even get better, if you prepare the dough the day before. Or up to 2 days if you like. You could even get well ahead and freeze the dough balls, to just defrost, roll out and fry on the day. Just don’t add the feta before freezing.

    Sourdough Naan

    Same for the Falafel: Soak the chickpeas 2 days before, make the dough 1 day before, fry freshly just for a few minutes short before serving.

    And all the chopped veggies? I tend to prepare them and store in separate lidded containers in the fridge, which keeps them fresh for a few days.

    Flexible

    And if all the above wasn’t enough and you feel that’s just way too much work, you could just buy some of the parts ready made and make others yourself. Or only pick a few bits instead of all.

    Hummus tends to be available in most supermarkets these days, though not the quality you can make at home of course. Honestly, once you tried that incredibly creamy homemade version, you will wonder what you even did all your life, eating those ready made tubs, it’s just so much better.

    Hummus Two Ways

    Same with Tzatziki. You can often get it from shops, but those tend to contain preservatives, which give a rather weird sour flavour. Plus it just takes 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to make, so it’s hardly worth buying and so much better.

    Similar goes for the Flatbread and Falafel, though of course those do take a bit more time. So if you have a really good middle eastern shop close by, it could be easier and reasonably tasty to buy them.
    In Hanover I had a huge all-year market hall close by, where I could get all kinds of delicious freshly made and exotic treats, including some fluffy Turkish flatbread, which would be great with this spread. If you have access to that, it’s a perfect alternative.

     

    The Ingredients

     

    Considering the huge variety of dips and sides here, I’ll spare you a ramble about all of the ingredients, especially since I have listed the main ones above already including their benefits. You’ll find details about themn in each recipe.

    But what I will do in this post, is to give you a full shopping list for all of them, if indeed you’d like to make the full Mezze Feast and would like an easy printable.
    That way you have less hassle with the planning and can get ahead of the busy holidays.

    The Recipe Links

    Hummus Two Ways

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Hummus Beetroot

    Easy Tzatziki

    Easy Tzatziki

    Muhammara

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    Smoked Aubergine Dip

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Smoked Aubergine Dip

    Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

    Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

    Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

    Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

    Sourdough Discard Naan

    Vegan Falafel Wraps

    Vegan Falafel Wraps 

    Vegan Falafel Wraps

    What Fruit and Vegetables to Serve This With

    You can get as creative as you’d like, but here is what I used:

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Fruit and Veggies

    – Cherry tomatoes
    – Mini cucumbers
    – Mini peppers
    – Radishes
    – Carrots
    – Fennel

    Fruit
    – Grapes
    – Medjool dates
    – Dried figs

    Nuts

    – Toasted almonds
    – Toasted walnuts
    – Pistachios

    Sides

    Black Olives
    Green Olives
    Feta filled sweet peppers
    Filled wine leaves

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_sides

    The Process

    Now this tends to be the place to give you all the steps to prepare a recipe. But those are already in each recipe and would be a bit overwhelming to have in one list. So I will mainly give you a timeline on what recipe to start when, plus the extra quick Marinated Feta.

    Marinated Feta

    Let’s start with the quickest recipe of the bunch, Marinated Feta.
    Get one or two blocks of good quality feta that you generally enjoy. Cut it in ½ in/1cm cubes and add to a fitting container you have a lid for.

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Marinated Feta Ingredients
    In a small bowl, mix 2 -4 tbsp olive oil with 1-2 tbsp Za’atar (depending on the amount of feta blocks you decided to use). Pour the mixture over the feta cubes and gently mix, to coat them. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be done up to 3 days in advance and the flavour will only improve. And your first recipe is done.

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Marinated Feta

    The Timeline

     

    3 days before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    – Get your shopping done

    2 days before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    – Soak the Chickpeas for your Falafel and, if starting from dried chickpeas instead of canned, for your Hummus.
    – Start the dough for your Sourdough flatbread either 1 or 2 days in advance, to get ahead. It will become more flavourful as it ferments and can be kept in the fridge.
    – Prepare the marinated feta

    1 day before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    – Prepare all the dips you plan to make and the Orange Thyme Tahini dressing (included in the Falafel recipe) if using. They all keep happily in the fridge for a few days

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Meal Prep
    – Prepare the Falafel dough, but don’t add the baking powder yet, as it loses its raising power when left too long. Store in a lidded container in the fridge.
    – Chop all the veggies for dipping and store in separate containers, so they keep fresh. Alternatively, if you have helpers on the day, you can chop them fresh.
    – If you have enough space in your fridge, you can pre-shape balls from the Flatbread sourdough already and keep them on a baking parchment lined tray in the fridge, that you cover with oiled clingfilm.

    On the day of your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

     

    In the Morning:

    – Fill a large cooking pot ½ with sunflower or vegetable oil for frying.
    – Transfer all your dips into pretty serving bowls and cover with clingfilm

    2h before serving

    – Lay the table. Don’t forget spoons for all the dips.
    – Prepare the Cucumber-Tomato-Salad as described in the Vegan Falafel Wrap recipe.
    In short: Chop cucumber and cherry tomatoes into about ½ in/1cm pieces, chop 1 onion, roughly chop the parsley. Mix with juice of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
    – Choose how to serve your mezze feast. You could use a large board, or like I did, some granite slates. Or scatter the dips across your table with plates of veggies and sides in between.

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast_Dips
    – Distribute the cut and ready vegetables, dried and fresh fruit and other sides between plates or arrange on a board. Cover with clingfilm to keep fresh while you prepare the warm dishes.

    1h before serving

    – Slowly heat your oil for frying the Falafel, to time it with the flatbreads being fried
    – Roll out the Sourdough Naan Bread and store between pieces of baking parchment or cling film
    – Fry and keep warm
    – Or fill your Sourdough Flatbread with Feta and store the filled spirals on a parchment lined and oiled tray covered with clingfilm
    – Start rolling out your Sour flatbread with Feta while you fry, as you will need to transfer right from the paper into the pan piece by piece
    – Keep the Flatbreads warm and soft by wrapping into a clean kitchen towel and storing between 2 large plates, the top one being upside down, to create a warm and moist environment.
    – If you feel you might take longer, you could also turn on your oven to the lowest setting and store the whole batch including plates in there to keep them warm.
    – Fry the Falafel according to the recipe. If you are making a very large batch, keep them warm in the oven in between frying the batches of them.
    – Remove the clingfilm from all dishes, add Falafel and Flatbreads to your Vegetarian Mezze Feast and you are ready to serve!

    Gather your loved ones around the table, ideally while the Falafel are frying, and enjoy the stunning feast.

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    Please find the separate recipes for each dish in the links above or below. This particular “Recipe” Focusses on giving you a timeline for preparing the whole feast.

    Meal Prep

     

    Most of the Meal Prep is covered above, but here are a few more shortcuts and prepare ahead ideas that I used:

    Pre-fry and freeze your Falafel and Flatbread. I wouldn’t necessarily do this if I’d plan this for a feast, as fresh is indeed best, but if you only make one or two of the dips, flatbread and/or Falafel for your work week, which is what I did, freezing them is a great way to store and keep fresh, ready in the air fryer or oven within a few minutes, while you plate your dips and veggies.

    Freeze the flatbread dough in portion for quick weekday meals and just pat or roll out after defrosting for a few hours when you want to fry them.

    Prepare everything on your weekend, keep in separate lidded containers for the week and only warm up the Flatbread and Falafel. The Naan in particular does well when warmed in the microwave, as you want it to be soft. Just 30 seconds is enough. This means you will have dinner on the table within 5 minutes.

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    The Links again, this time without pictures, for easy clicking:

    Hummus Two Ways

    Easy Tzatziki

    Muhammara

    Smoked Aubergine Dip

    Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

    Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

    Sourdough Discard Naan

    Vegan Falafel Wraps

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    If you have been following along with my last eight recipes, you already have a good idea of how this Vegetarian Mezze Feast will look like. We are combining all of those delicious dips and snacks into one stunning spread that is worthy of any holiday or festivity. The fact that it’s vegetarian is an added bonus, and I’m pretty sure no carnivore will even waste a thought on the meat, once they see all the stunning variety on offer.
    5 from 4 votes
    Prep Time 4 hours
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Resting and Soaking time 2 days
    Total Time 2 days 5 hours
    Course Appetizer, Dinner, Feast, Main Course, spread
    Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
    Servings 8
    Calories 850 kcal

    Ingredients
      

    Produce

    • 1 russet potato
    • 2 cucumbers
    • 3 bulbs garlic
    • 8 lemons
    • 1 orange
    • 2 cooked beetroots
    • 2 medium aubergines
    • 2 bunches flatleaf parsley
    • 1 bunch mint
    • 1 bunch thyme
    • 2 onions
    • 9 oz cherry tomatoes plus more for dipping
    • Pomegranate seeds for garnish

    For Dipping (Use what you like. Below are examples)

    • Carrots
    • Mini Peppers
    • Radishes
    • Cherry Tomatoes
    • Cucumber
    • Mini Fennel
    • Grapes

    Dried fruit and nuts (Use what you like. Below are examples)

    • Medjool dates
    • Dried figs
    • Toasted Walnuts
    • Toasted Almonds

    Other

    • Black Olives
    • Green Olives
    • Feta filled sweet peppers
    • Filled wine leaves

    Fridge

    • 1 cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt or more full fat
    • 5 cups Greek yoghurt
    • 16-24 ounces 2-3 blocks Feta
    • 4 tbsp butter
    • 1/2 cup oat milk or full fat milk of choice

    Other

    • 2 cups sourdough starter active or discard

    Pantry

    • 2 cans chickpeas
    • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 9 oz/250g dried chickpeas
    • 2 cups 1 big jar roasted red peppers
    • 1 pack Walnuts
    • 4 cups Plain Flour
    • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
    • Extra Virgin olive oil
    • 1 l sunflower oil
    • 1 tsp Baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
    • Flaky Salt
    • 1 tsp Active Dry Yeast
    • 1 tbsp Molasses
    • 2 tbsp Honey
    • 1.5 tbsp Date Syrup
    • 3 tbsp Pomegranate molasses
    • 1 3/4 cup Tahini
    • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

    Spices

    • Kosher salt
    • Pepper
    • Sumac
    • Ground Coriander
    • Ground Cumin
    • Za'atar
    • Red pepper flakes

    Instructions
     

    The Process

    • Now this tends to be the place to give you all the steps to prepare a recipe. But those are already in each recipe and would be a bit overwhelming to have in one list. So I will mainly give you a timeline on what recipe to start when, plus the extra quick Marinated Feta.

    Marinated Feta

    • Let’s start with the quickest recipe of the bunch, Marinated Feta.
    • Get one or two blocks of good quality feta that you generally enjoy. Cut it in ½ in/1cm cubes and add to a fitting container you have a lid for.
    • In a small bowl, mix 2 -4 tbsp olive oil with 1-2 tbsp Za’atar (depending on the amount of feta blocks you decided to use). Pour the mixture over the feta cubes and gently mix, to coat them. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be done up to 3 days in advance and the flavour will only improve. And your first recipe is done.

    The Timeline

      3 days before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

      • Get your shopping done

      2 days before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

      • Soak the Chickpeas for your Falafel and, if starting from dried chickpeas instead of canned, for your Hummus.
      • Start the dough for your Sourdough flatbread either 1 or 2 days in advance, to get ahead. It will become more flavourful as it ferments and can be kept in the fridge.
      • Prepare the marinated feta by cuting 1-2 blocks of feta in cubes and mixing it with 2-4 tbsp of oilve oil and 1-2 tbsp Za'atar.

      1 day before your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

      • Prepare all the dips you plan to make. They all keep happily in the fridge for a few days
      • Prepare the Falafel dough, but don’t add the baking powder yet, as it loses its raising power when left too long. Store in a lidded container in the fridge.
      • Chop all the veggies for dipping and store in separate containers, so they keep fresh. Alternatively, if you have helpers on the day, you can chop them fresh.
      • If you have enough space in your fridge, you can pre-shape balls from the Flatbread sourdough already and keep them on a baking parchment lined tray in the fridge, that you cover with oiled clingfilm.

      On the day of your Vegetarian Mezze Feast

        In the Morning:

        • Fill a large cooking pot ½ with sunflower or vegetable oil for frying.
        • Transfer all your dips into pretty serving bowls and cover with clingfilm

        2h before serving

        • Lay the table. Don’t forget spoons for all the dips.
        • Prepare the Cucumber-Tomato-Salad as described in the Vegan Falafel Wrap recipe.
        • In short: Chop cucumber and cherry tomatoes into about ½ in/1cm pieces, chop 1 onion, roughly chop the parsley. Mix with juice of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
        • Choose how to serve your mezze feast. You could use a large board, or like I did, some granite slates. Or scatter the dips across your table with plates of veggies and sides in between.
        • Garnish your dips with drizzles of olive oil, Za'atar, pomegranate seeds and sesame. Cover with clingfilm until ready to serve.
        • Distribute the cut and ready vegetables, dried and fresh fruit and other sides between plates or arrange on a board. Cover with clingfilm to keep fresh while you prepare the warm dishes.

        1h before serving

        • Slowly heat your oil for frying the Falafel, to time it with the flatbreads being fried
        • Roll out the Sourdough Naan Bread and store between pieces of baking parchment or cling film
        • Fry and keep warm
        • Or fill your Sourdough Flatbread with Feta and store the filled spirals on a parchment lined and oiled tray covered with clingfilm
        • Start rolling out your Sour flatbread with Feta while you fry, as you will need to transfer right from the paper into the pan piece by piece
        • Keep the Flatbreads warm and soft by wrapping into a clean kitchen towel and storing between 2 large plates, the top one being upside down, to create a warm and moist environment.
        • If you feel you might take longer, you could also turn on your oven to the lowest setting and store the whole batch including plates in there to keep them warm.
        • Fry the Falafel according to the recipe. If you are making a very large batch, keep them warm in the oven in between frying the batches of them.
        • Remove the clingfilm from all dishes, add Falafel and Flatbreads to your Vegetarian Mezze Feast and you are ready to serve!
        • Gather your loved ones around the table, ideally while the Falafel are frying, and enjoy the stunning feast.

        Notes

        Please find the separate recipes for each dish in the links of the blog post. This particular "Recipe" Focusses on giving you a timeline for preparing the whole feast.
        For the ingredients I haven't given estimates for, like salt for example and oilve oil, the amounts you use may vary on your taste, how much you use to drizzle on top of dips and for rolling out flatbreads.
        The preparation time is a very rough estimate based on how long each dish takes to make and the soaking time for chickpeas plus resting time for sourdough. Your results may vary.
        I got everything plus editing the recipes and taking all the photos done in 3 days fairly relaxed and with breaks, where photos make up roughly one of the days. 
        I also re-made some of the recipes, as I loved them so much and they were very quick to make.
        Same goes for the calories. I can only give a very rough estimation, based on likely average consumption. For more specific values, please refer to each separate recipe in this case.
        Most of the Meal Prep is covered above, but here are a few more shortcuts and prepare ahead ideas that I used:
        Pre-fry and freeze your Falafel and Flatbread. I wouldn’t necessarily do this if I’d plan this for a feast, as fresh is indeed best, but if you only make one or two of the dips, flatbread and/or Falafel for your work week, which is what I did, freezing them is a great way to store and keep fresh, ready in the air fryer or oven within a few minutes, while you plate your dips and veggies.
        Freeze the flatbread dough in portion for quick weekday meals and just pat or roll out after defrosting for a few hours when you want to fry them.
        Prepare everything on your weekend, keep in separate lidded containers for the week and only warm up the Flatbread and Falafel. The Naan in particular does well when warmed in the microwave, as you want it to be soft. Just 30 seconds is enough. This means you will have dinner on the table within 5 minutes.

        Nutrition

        Calories: 850kcal
        Nutrition Facts
        Vegetarian Mezze Feast
        Amount per Serving
        Calories
        850
        % Daily Value*
        * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
        Keyword For Guests, Healthy, High Fibre, meal prep, Vegetarian, versatile
        Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

         

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh is a super creamy spread made from strained Greek yoghurt with mild and caramelized roasted garlic and zesty lemon, rounded with some lemony sumac.
        Super quick to make, healthy and with lots of protein, this will become a favourite side dish for sure. If with the Mezze Feast or on its own, you will fall in love with it.

         

        Why You Want to Make This

        Easy

        I know I say this a lot, especially with the recipes for dips, but this one takes basically 5 minutes of active work and a little time in the fridge for the yoghurt and the garlic in the oven or air fryer. After that it’s just a matter of mashing everything together with a fork and you have a delicious spread ready.

        Healthy

        Greek Yoghurt provides protein with all the benefits that come with it and healthy bacteria that help your gut. With the water reduced, it’s a pretty concentrated form of both, which I love.

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Versatile

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh can be used as spread or dip, to go with a Mezze Feast, which is what I was doing. You could top it with roasted cherry tomatoes or mix it with different seasonings. Za’atar would be a classic, but try adding something hot, like harissa or different herbs. Maybe some chopped olives or roasted peppers and within minutes you have a completely different tasting side dish.

         

        The Ingredients

        Full fat Greek yoghurt is the main ingredient for Labneh. Be sure not to use 0% fat, as it will taste rather floury when strained. You want it creamy. I’m using Glenisk, which is widely available in Ireland and I just love the flavour. Make sure to use a type of Greek yoghurt you generally enjoy eating, since the flavour will intensify when the water is reduced.

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Salt

        Both for flavour and quicker removal of the water content, the yoghurt gets mixed with salt. I’m using kosher salt here. If you are using sea salt, half the amount.

        Garlic

        A whole bulb of it for that matter. It will be roasted and caramelized in the oven or air fryer, so no need to be scared of garlic breath. This process also softens it and completely transforms the flavour.
        Since I’ve tried it many years ago for the first time, I’m completely hooked. I usually make several bulbs while I’m at it and store them in the fridge, to use in various ways during the week. Sometime simply spread on toast, with a hint of Maldon salt is heaven. Or on roasted chicken with some cherry tomatoes roasted alongside.

        Lemon

        We are using only the zest here, as the intention is only to add flavour, not liquid back in. Use an unwaxed and untreated lemon or wash thoroughly under hot water first.

        Sumac

        Sumac is a red, lemony tasting spice made from ground berries from the middle east. I absolutely love it in anything that needs a lemony hit or some pretty pink colour. It’s often added to Za’atar and used to sprinkle on top of all sorts of dishes like hummus or Labneh, stews, salads and more. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll use it everywhere.
        It’s widely available in supermarkets these days. But if you can’t find it, you can leave it out or add more lemon zest.

         

        The Process

        Straining the Yoghurt

        Usually this is done in a cheese cloth (or clean kitchen towel), tied to the handle of a wooden spoon, which is rested over a container high enough to allow the liquid to drip out of the yoghurt and left in the fridge overnight.

        Labneh
        However, I read of a method using a coffee filter and since I had my Chemex around, I figured it would be a great use. https://www.chemexcoffeemaker.com/eight-cup-handblown-series-glass-coffeemaker.html
        You can use either the towel method or any type of filter coffee device. I honestly loved the ease of it and the fact that I didn’t have to clean the yoghurt of the towel afterwards. Just take it out of the paper coffee filter and you are done. Minimal cleanup.

        Labneh

        To strain the yoghurt, first mix it with the salt, then add it either to your cheese cloth, towel or coffee filter, set it over a bowl and cover the top with cling film if you are using the filter method. Leave in the fridge for minimum 6h or overnight.

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Once it has reached a very firm and creamy consistency and you see a fair bit of fluid has dripped out, take the labneh out of your chosen straining device and add to a bowl.

        Garlic

        Pre-heat your air fryer or oven to 400°F/200°C

        Cut the very top off your bulb of garlic, just so the cloves are visible. Leave the rest unpeeled. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap into a piece of kitchen foil and twist to close.
        Add to the oven for 40-60 minutes or the air fryer for 20-30 minutes or until the cloves are soft and caramelized. This might take a little longer or shorter, depending on the size and freshness of your head of garlic.

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Be careful when taking out and opening, as the little parcel will be very hot. Let it cool down, until easy to handle. Squish the now soft garlic cloves out of the papery skin into a little bowl and smash with a fork until you have a puree.

        Assembly

        Add the smashed, roasted garlic, lemon zest and sumac to your labneh and mix thoroughly with a fork.

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preferences.

        Enjoy with warm flat bread, crudites, on toast or with anything savoury you might usually eat with cream cheese.

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Meal Prep

        Since this is simply strained Greek yoghurt with roasted garlic, this should keep for about 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
        I often make this on my weekend, to have a snack with some fresh cherry tomatoes on sourdough toast for the week, as it keeps so well.

        And since it mostly makes itself, you can start the preparation the day before you want it and just have 5 minutes of assembly on the day.

        The Mezze Feast

        Here are the recipes posted for the Mezze Feast so far. Mix and match whatever you like, use just one as super quick snack or dinner or all of them for one stunning feast:

        Hummus Two Ways

        Easy Tzatziki

        Muhammara

        Smoked Aubergine Dip

         

        Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
        Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
        What other recipes would you like to see?

        If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh is a super creamy spread made from strained Greek yoghurt with mild and caramelized roasted garlic and zesty lemon, rounded with some lemony sumac. Super quick to make, healthy and with lots of protein, this will become a favourite side dish for sure. If with the Mezze Feast or on its own, you will fall in love with it.
        5 from 6 votes
        Prep Time 5 minutes
        Cook Time 40 minutes
        Straining time 6 hours
        Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes
        Course Appetizer, condiment, dip, spread
        Cuisine Middle Eastern
        Servings 8
        Calories 133 kcal

        Ingredients
          

        • 2 cups Greek yoghurt full fat
        • ½ tsp salt

        For the Roasted Garlic Lemon version:

        • 1 bulb garlic
        • 1 lemon zested
        • 1 tsp sumac

        Instructions
         

        Straining the Yogurt:

        • In a mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and salt. Stir well to evenly distribute the salt throughout the yogurt.

        Choose your preferred straining method:

        • a. Cheese Cloth/Towel Method: Use a clean cheesecloth or kitchen towel and tie it to the handle of a wooden spoon. Place this over a container that's high enough to allow the liquid to drain out of the yogurt. Let it rest in the fridge overnight.
        • b. Coffee Filter Method: If using a coffee filter, like a Chemex coffee maker, place the yogurt with salt in the filter. Set it over a bowl and cover the top with cling film. Leave it in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
        • Once the yogurt has achieved a very firm and creamy consistency, and you see a significant amount of liquid has dripped out, remove the labneh from your chosen straining device and transfer it to a bowl.

        Roasted Garlic:

        • Preheat your air fryer or oven to 400°F/200°C.
        • Cut the very top off the bulb of garlic, exposing the cloves but leaving the rest unpeeled. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the garlic and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the garlic in a piece of kitchen foil and twist to seal it.
        • Roast the garlic in the oven for 40-60 minutes or in the air fryer for 20-30 minutes, or until the cloves are soft and caramelized. The exact time may vary depending on the size and freshness of your garlic.
        • Be cautious when removing and opening the foil packet, as it will be very hot. Allow the roasted garlic to cool down until it's easy to handle.
        • Squeeze the now soft garlic cloves out of the papery skin into a small bowl. Mash them with a fork until you have a smooth puree.

        Assembly:

        • Add the mashed, roasted garlic, lemon zest, and sumac to the strained labneh in the bowl.
        • Mix the ingredients thoroughly with a fork, ensuring the roasted garlic, lemon zest, and sumac are evenly distributed throughout the labneh.
        • Taste the labneh and adjust the seasoning to your preferences. You can add more salt or lemon zest if needed.
        • Enjoy your Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh with warm flatbread, fresh vegetables (crudites), on toast, or with any savoury accompaniments you typically enjoy with cream cheese. This creamy, tangy, and subtly sweet dip is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

        Notes

        Meal Prep
        Since this is simply strained Greek yoghurt with roasted garlic, this should keep for about 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
        I often make this on my weekend, to have a snack with some fresh cherry tomatoes on sourdough toast for the week, as it keeps so well.
        And since it mostly makes itself, you can start the preparation the day before you want it and just have 5 minutes of assembly on the day.
        8 portions
        Calories per Portion: Approximately 133 calories
        Protein per Portion: Approximately 9 grams
        Carbohydrates per Portion: Approximately 4 grams
        Fat per Portion: Approximately 9 grams
        Sodium per Portion: Approximately 175 milligrams

        Nutrition

        Calories: 133kcal
        Nutrition Facts
        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh
        Amount per Serving
        Calories
        133
        % Daily Value*
        * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
        Keyword Easy, For Guests, Healthy, High Protein, meal prep, Protein, Vegetarian, versatile
        Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
        Smoked Aubergine Dip

        Smoked Aubergine Dip

        Similar to Baba ghanoush, this Smoked Aubergine Dip starts with roasted aubergines, that get roasted to smoky, charred perfection, then mixed with creamy Tahini. The difference to the traditional dip lies in the Greek yoghurt I’m adding. For both added creaminess and protein. If you were always sceptical about aubergines, do give this one a try. It certainly converted me into a lover of their creamy texture!

        Why You Want to Make This

         

        Great for a Mezze Feast

        Another amazing middle eastern dip for the upcoming Mezze Feast, this Smoked Aubergine Dip is highly addictive. Yet super easy to make. While roasting or charring the aubergines takes some time, it’s mostly hands off, while you can get on with other things.
        If you are following along with the feast, you might want to prepare your flatbreads, so they are ready when the dip is. Or the Hummus, if you are preparing it with crudites.

        Versatile

        The very first time I made this, I had it with roasted lamb shoulder many years ago, long before this blog existed and got entirely hooked. I was never a fan of aubergine before, as I felt it doesn’t taste like much and has a weird texture.
        That completely changes once you roast it until completely black and collapsed, which makes them super smoky and creamy when the flesh is scraped out.
        You can eat this with meat (lamb is particularly delicious), as dip, with crudites, as spread or just as a side with all kinds of dishes.

        Healthy

        Based on vegetables, same as the Muhammara I made for the same Mezze Feast, which was based on peppers. And the Hummus, which is based on chickpeas.
        With this one being made from Aubergines, you get all the benefits of high fibre and nutrients, while enjoying a super creamy and smoky dip.

        Easy

        All you need is an oven, air fryer or open flame, to get your aubergines nice and charred. After that a bowl and a fork plus spoon are all the required equipment. Once the aubergine is cooked, it’s just a matter of mushing it a bit with a fork and stirring in the remaining ingredients and you are done.

         

        The Ingredients

         

        Which brings us to the next point indeed. The all-important ingredients.

        Smoked Aubergine Dip _Ingredients

        Aubergines – of course. As mentioned above, are the main ingredient.

        0% fat Greek yoghurt – I love this as addition, because it adds incredible creaminess and fresh tang without adding fat and a fair bit of protein, which we want especially when eating a vegetarian Mezze feast like the one I’m preparing.

        Tahini – The ground sesame paste is essential here, to transform this into the creamy and nutty dip we are looking for. Same as with the Hummus:
        Whatever you do, please don’t use the classic supermarket version of Tahini here, which you will recognise by the firm and hard to scoop paste in a jar topped with a thick layer of oil. I found they are at best just hard to work with, worst case add a horrible, bitter note to whatever you use them in.

        What we are after is creamy, liquid and lovely sesame flavoured. Israeli, Lebanese, and Palestinian version like “Al Nakhil”, which is the one I’m using.
        Admittedly I have to order it online and often it is sold out in Ireland. So when I spot it, I tend to order several containers, for fear of running out.
        I often get it at the Asia Market or Fallon & Byrne in Ireland. But if you live elsewhere in the world, check for the above countries of origin and you should be fine.

        Molasses – This might seem like an odd addition but trust me here. I found it takes this already delicious dip over the top, as it complements the aubergine and nutty Tahini perfectly by adding sweet, almost smoky notes. If you don’t have any, you could use date syrup or even a little honey. But much less than molasses, as it’s sweeter.

        Garlic – I suppose this one is obvious, as it makes nearly each of the dips better. And if you have guests, everyone will eat it, so no one will be bothered by the smell. Adjust the amount to your liking. But beware, it gets stronger if you make the dip in advance.

        Mint – Not traditional, same as the molasses and yoghurt, but it adds herby freshness as contrast to the creamy smokiness which I really love. Dill or parsley could be used instead.

        Lemon – There is barely a dish I wouldn’t add lemon to, to bring out all the flavours. We need the acidity here, to balance the mild and creamy aubergine and nutty Tahini.

         

        The Process

         

        Roasting the Aubergines

        We want to achieve perfect collapsing softness and charred black skin on the aubergines, so we get the addictive smoky flavour that makes this dip so incredible.
        This can be done over a gas flame, as is traditional, or, as I do it since I don’t have a gas hob (and would hate the cleanup) in my air fryer or oven.

        Pre-heat your oven or air fryer to 200°C (400°F).

        Prick holes into your aubergines with a fork. This is important, so they don’t explode. Trust me, you do not want to clean exploded aubergine.
        Rub them with a little olive oil and place either directly in your air fryer (which is much faster than your oven for this) or an ovenproof dish in the middle of your oven.

        Smoked Aubergine Dip Process

        Roast in the air fryer for about 20-30 minutes, turning every 5min. Or until totally collapsed and with charred skin.
        In your oven this will take about 50-60 minutes, turning about 3-4 times.

        Smoked Aubergine Dip Process

        The consistency should be similar to a completely overripe banana. If it’s not, cook them longer. The flesh will look almost translucent, with none of the white firmness left.

        Scooping out the flesh

        Once it comes out of the oven, get a sieve that can take both aubergines and make a cut the long side down with a sharp knife, holding them ideally with tongs or an ovenproof glove, as they will be hot. Place them in the sieve, cut side pointing down, so some of the fluid can drain.

        Smoked Aubergine Dip Process

        When they are cool enough to handle safely, scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a large bowl and mash it thoroughly with a fork. You could use a food processor for this if you want, but usually it’s so easy, that I feel the washing up is more work than the bit of mashing.

        Smoked Aubergine Dip Process

         

        Mixing the dip

        Add the minced garlic, Tahini, Greek yoghurt, molasses, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly, until you have a creamy dip.

        Smoked Aubergine Dip

        Have a taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

        Add the finely chopped mint or any other herbs you enjoy.

        Serve with flatbread, meat, crudites or as part of a Mezze feast.

        Meal Prep

         

        This Smoked Aubergine Dip will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. So you can make it well ahead and enjoy it either as Mezze feast or during the week as healthy snack, which I do a lot.

        For the recipes of the upcoming Mezze Fest so far, check these:
        Muhammara

        Hummus Two Ways

        Easy Tzatziki

        Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
        Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
        What other recipes would you like to see?

        If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.

        Smoked Aubergine Dip

        Smoked Aubergine Dip

        Similar to Baba ghanoush, this Smoked Aubergine Dip starts with roasted aubergines, that get roasted to smoky, charred perfection, then mixed with creamy Tahini. The difference to the traditional dip lies in the Greek yoghurt I’m adding. For both added creaminess and protein. If you were always sceptical about aubergines, do give this one a try. It certainly converted me into a lover of their creamy texture!
        5 from 3 votes
        Prep Time 15 minutes
        Cook Time 50 minutes
        Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
        Course Appetizer, dip, Side Dish, Snack, spread
        Cuisine Middle Eastern
        Servings 8
        Calories 123 kcal

        Ingredients
          

        • 2 medium Aubergines eggplants
        • 4 tbsp Tahini
        • 2 tbsp olive oil
        • 1 cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt
        • ½ lemon juiced
        • 2 garlic cloves minced
        • 1 tbsp molasses
        • 1 tbsp mint finely chopped
        • ½ tsp kosher salt or more to taste

        Instructions
         

        • Preheat your oven or air fryer to 200°C (400°F).
        • Begin by pricking holes into your aubergines with a fork to prevent them from exploding during the cooking process.
        • Rub the aubergines with a little olive oil and place them directly in your air fryer or in an ovenproof dish in the middle of your oven.
        • Roast in the air fryer for about 20-30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. In the oven, this will take about 50-60 minutes, turning about 3-4 times. The goal is to achieve perfect collapsing softness and charred black skin on the aubergines, which will give your dip a smoky flavour.
        • The consistency should be similar to a completely overripe banana. The flesh will look almost translucent, with none of the white firmness left. If needed, cook them longer until they reach this state.
        • Once the aubergines are done roasting, cut them lengthwise with a sharp knife and, using tongs or an ovenproof glove, place them in a sieve, cut side down, to allow excess liquid to drain. Let them cool for a bit.
        • When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a large bowl and mash it thoroughly with a fork. You can use a food processor if you prefer, but hand mashing is usually sufficient and saves on cleanup.
        • Add the minced garlic, tahini, Greek yogurt, molasses, lemon juice, olive oil, and some salt and pepper to the mashed aubergines. Stir thoroughly until you have a creamy dip. Adjust the seasoning to your liking. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.
        • Finally, stir in the finely chopped mint or any other herbs you enjoy. This will add a fresh and aromatic touch to your dip.
        • Serve your smoked aubergine dip with flatbread, meat, crudites, or as part of a Mezze feast. Enjoy the addictive smoky flavour and creamy texture of this delicious dip!

        Notes

        This Smoked Aubergine Dip will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. So you can make it well ahead and enjoy it either as Mezze feast or during the week as healthy snack, which I do a lot.
        Calories per Portion: Approximately 123 calories
        Protein per Portion: Approximately 3 grams
        Carbohydrates per Portion: Approximately 12 grams
        Fat per Portion: Approximately 7 grams
        Fiber per Portion: Approximately 3 grams
        Sugar per Portion: Approximately 6 grams
        Sodium per Portion: Approximately 158 milligrams
        Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on specific brands and variations in ingredient measurements.

        Nutrition

        Calories: 123kcal
        Nutrition Facts
        Smoked Aubergine Dip
        Amount per Serving
        Calories
        123
        % Daily Value*
        * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
        Keyword Easy, For Guests, Healthy, High Fibre, Low Calorie, meal prep, Vegetarian, versatile
        Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

        Muhammara

        Muhammara

        Muhammara is a super quick store cupboard recipe, for which you probably already have everything you need at home. Sweet roasted red peppers are pureed with crunchy toasted walnuts, punchy garlic, breadcrumbs, spices, and fruity pomegranate molasses, to make a versatile dip, spread or side dish for your mezze feast.

        Why You Want to Make This

         

        Easy

        This dip comes together in 5 in a food processor or blender, making it the perfect emergency staple. Sure, you could use fresh peppers and roast them yourself, then peel and get the seeds out, but why would you?

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually all for making things from scratch, but not having a gas hob or other open flame around, does complicate charring the skin of anything. Plus it’s pretty messy. I tried it in a house that did have a gas hob once. Once. For a reason. The cleaning was no fun.

        Red roasted peppers are easily available in pretty much every supermarket these days. Even Lidl in Ireland has them, and that says a lot! And they are delicious. So go grab a jar, to have on hand for this dip whenever the mood strikes you. And after you had this once, it will strike you again and again.

        Versatile

        I’m making this particular Muhammara for the Mezze Feast you will see in a post soon. Still a few recipes to go, until it all comes together. It goes fantastic with hummus, as dip, side dish, with pasta (I’ve used it instead of red pesto and loved it), on meat, with your next BBQ, or just spread on warm toasted bread.

        Healthy

        I mean, look at the Ingredients:

        Muhammara Ingredients

        Peppers mean the base is made from vegetables. And while I was personally not a fan of peppers for ages (apparently I’m weird), this dip finally convinced me that they can taste really good. I even started eating them in other dishes after trying this for the first time.

        Walnuts are nutrient rich with healthy fats and give delicious crunch.

        Garlic, in many cultures used for its medicinal properties, is used here mainly for flavour. Not much, just enough to give a bit of a punch.

        Parsley with its lovely minerality adds fresh herbs notes to Muhammara, plus vitamins of course.

        Lemon juice for vitamin C and acidity and a little olive oil for creaminess and healthy fats.

        Pomegranate molasses is basically reduced pomegranate juice, giving it a very distinct and intense sweet-sour-fruity flavour. I found it at my favourite health food shop.
        But these days some supermarkets have it too. If you can’t find it, good balsamic vinegar is a decent substitute.

        Breadcrumbs – I’m using panko breadcrumbs here, as that’s what I had on hand, but you could just process some leftover stale bread until you have crumbs and use that instead. It’s great to use up leftovers.

        Spices wise, cumin would be classic here. But as mentioned before, my body isn’t keen on it, so I’m substituting ground coriander. Use whichever you prefer.
        I added mild red pepper flakes, Aleppo chili would be very traditional, if you can find them. They are mild and fruity, which makes them perfect for this Muhammara.
        If you prefer it on the spicy side, feel free to add some hotter types of chili flakes.

         

        The Process

         

        Add everything except the breadcrumbs to the small bowl of your food processor or your blender. Process until you have a coarse paste. You might have to scrape down the sides once.

        Muhammara Process

        Don’t overprocess. You still want bit of crunchy walnuts instead of a smooth paste.

        Muhammara Process

        Transfer into a bowl, stir in the breadcrumbs. Season and have a taste. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

        Muhammara

        And you are ready to serve your fresh Muhammara.

        Meal Prep

         

        Muhammara keeps in the fridge for about 3-4 days. I kept mine for my work week, to enjoy as a Mezze plate for several days. I was a very happy bunny that week, looking forward to dinner every day.

        Muhammara

        The recipes for the upcoming Mezze Feast so far:

        Easy Tzaziki

        Hummus Two Ways

        Smoked Aubergine Dip

        Sourdough Flatbread with Feta

        Roasted Garlic Lemon Labneh

        Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
        Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
        What other recipes would you like to see?

        If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.

        Muhammara

        Muhammara

        Muhammara is a super quick store cupboard recipe, for which you probably already have everything you need at home. Sweet roasted red peppers are pureed with crunchy toasted walnuts, punchy garlic, breadcrumbs, spices, and fruity pomegranate molasses, to make a versatile dip, spread or side dish for your mezze feast.
        No ratings yet
        Prep Time 5 minutes
        Total Time 5 minutes
        Course Appetizer, condiment, Side Dish, Snack, spread
        Cuisine Middle Eastern
        Servings 8
        Calories 124 kcal

        Equipment

        • Food Processor or Blender

        Ingredients
          

        • 2 cups roasted red peppers roughly chopped
        • ½ cup walnuts toasted
        • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
        • 2 cloves garlic crushed or grated
        • 1 tbsp lemon juice
        • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
        • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
        • 1 tsp ground coriander or cumin
        • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
        • 2 tbsp olive oil
        • Salt and Pepper to taste

        Instructions
         

        • Add the roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, crushed garlic, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, red pepper flakes, and ground coriander (or cumin) to the small bowl of your food processor or blender.
        • Pulse the mixture until you achieve a coarse paste. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Be careful not to overprocess; you want to maintain some texture and crunch from the walnuts.
        • Taste the Muhammara and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Adjust other seasonings if necessary; you can add more lemon juice for brightness, more pomegranate molasses for sweetness, or more red pepper flakes for heat.
        • Once the mixture has the right balance of flavours and textures, transfer it into a bowl.
        • Stir in the panko breadcrumbs. This will help thicken the Muhammara and give it a slightly more substantial texture.
        • You're now ready to serve your fresh Muhammara. Garnish it with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil for an extra layer of flavour and a pop of colour. Serve it as a dip with pita bread, crackers, or fresh vegetables, or use it as a spread on sandwiches or wraps.

        Notes

        Muhammara keeps in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
        8 Portions
        Calories per Portion: Approximately 124 calories
        Protein per Portion: Approximately 2 grams
        Carbohydrates per Portion: Approximately 8 grams
        Fat per Portion: Approximately 10 grams
        Fiber per Portion: Approximately 1 gram
        Sugar per Portion: Approximately 2 grams
        Sodium per Portion: Approximately 182 milligrams

        Nutrition

        Calories: 124kcal
        Nutrition Facts
        Muhammara
        Amount per Serving
        Calories
        124
        % Daily Value*
        * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
        Keyword Easy, For Guests, Healthy, meal prep, Vegetarian
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