Monday, April 2, 2012

Middle Eastern Meal Appitizers

Well now that I am a school girl (again), I got to enjoy a fabulous spring break. Everyone made fun of me since I was heading north to cooler weather but it turned really warm and I had a blast. I loved visiting my Aunt Nancy and Aunt Fran in Milwaukee. We all love to cook and bake so we just had the most fun in the kitchen.  Aunt N and I sat down to plan our weeks baking schedule. Unfortunately we didn't make too much of a dent in our list but it means I'll just have to go back for another week of cooking.  

We decided to make a special dinner for 8 people on the second night. Aunt Nancy and I planned a middle eastern feast for fun. It was so delicious that we were so glad that we made too much, since we almost finished it all.  We served hummus, babaganoush with homemade pita for the appetizers. Dinner was middle eastern lamb and turkey meatballs with a minted yogurt sauce and dessert was spiced figs with vanilla ice cream topped with a spiced fig sauce. It was perfect! 

I love hummus and this recipe makes a light and fresh tasting hummus with lots of lemon and parsley. We added in too much lemon juice so it was rather runny but still delicious. I have had hummus with organic chickpeas and I find that I like hummus better with regular old canned chickpeas. The texture is much smoother with non-organic chickpeas.  Enjoy!

Barefoot  Hummus
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa
4 garlic cloves

2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas
8 dashes hot sauce
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it's minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature. This hummus is better the next day. 

I have never made babaganoush before, so I was shocked how easy and delicious it was. This babaganoush is very spicy and delicious. We served this and the homemade hummus with homemade toasted pita and it was a great way to start our Middle Eastern dinner. This recipe originally called for parsley but since we ran out of the parsley I added in the mint. It was delicious and simply perfect!


Adapted from Ellie Krieger

1 large eggplant (about 1 pound) 
1 glove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint 
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Prick eggplant with a fork and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake the eggplant until it is soft inside, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, grill the eggplant over a gas grill, rotating it around until the skin is completely charred, about 10 minutes. Let the eggplant cool. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, drain off the liquid, and scoop the pulp into a food processor. Process the eggplant until smooth and transfer to a medium bowl.

On a cutting board, work garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt together with the flat side of a knife, until it forms a paste. Add the garlic-salt mixture to the eggplant. Stir in the mint, tahini, and lemon juice. Season with more salt, to taste. Garnish with parsley.

Next week I will share with you the delicious and easy sesame lamb and turkey middle eastern meatballs with currents. 


  1. So glad to see you back. I have missed you.


  2. Thanks Roberta, I missed you too! It is great to be back


Hello and thanks for visiting Calamity Kate Kitchen. I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipes and stories to leave a comment! Please excuse our word verification, but lots of spammers have been leaving their comments and those comments are not appropriate. Anyways, thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to read your comments!
Cheers, Kate