Mediterranean meze feast

Mediterranean meze feast
  • Low salt
  • Vegetarian
  • Special occasion
  • 2 hours or less
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This dish is lower in salt than shop-bought alternatives and full of fresh flavour.

Ingredients

Babaganoush

2 large aubergines (about 650g)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons tahini

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

10 sprigs of fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Tzatziki

½ cucumber, cut in half lengthways, seeds scooped out and discarded

170g Greek yoghurt

1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

5 sprigs of mint, finely chopped

Pinch sumac (optional)

Hummus

1 can chickpeas (400g), drained and rinsed

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 clove garlic (optional), peeled and crushed

1 heaped tablespoon tahini

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Pinch smoked paprika (optional)

Greek(ish) salad

1 cucumber, cut in half lengthways, seeds scooped out and flesh cubed

10 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

2 handfuls salad leaves

4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of one lemon

To serve

4 flatbreads or pitta breads

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Method

  1. Step 1

    Pre-heat the oven to its hottest setting. Prick the skin of the aubergines a few times and put them on a baking tray lined with foil or baking parchment. Cook the aubergines for 30-40 minutes until the skin is blackened and wrinkly. Leave to cool.

  2. Step 2

    Coarsely grate the cucumber, place in a sieve over a bowl and leave for 30 minutes to drain out all the liquid.

  3. Step 3

    Put all the hummus ingredients in a blender or food processor and add a few tablespoons of tepid water. Blitz into a paste, as chunky or as smooth as you like. Add more water as needed if the consistency is too thick. Season with a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Serve in a bowl, drizzled with a little olive oil with a pinch of paprika sprinkled on top (if using).

  4. Step 4

    Slit the aubergines lengthways and scoop out the flesh in long strands, discarding the skins. Put in a sieve to drain for 30 minutes. Discard the liquid. In a mixing bowl, stir the lemon juice into the tahini until it loosens up. Add the garlic and two-thirds of the chopped herbs, and season with a few grinds of black pepper. Add a squeeze more lemon juice if necessary. Mash the aubergines gently with a fork, and then stir into the tahini mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with remaining chopped herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

  5. Step 5

    Squeeze the cucumber to remove any remaining liquid and tip the cucumber into a bowl. Add the yoghurt, garlic and mint leaves and mix well. Sprinkle over a pinch of sumac (if using) before serving.

  6. Step 6

    To make the salad, toss the cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions and salad leaves with the olive oil and half the lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice if you would like it to be sharper and a few grinds of black pepper as needed. Lightly toast the pitta breads and serve straight away.

Food facts

The flatbread or pitta bread is the main source of carbohydrate in this dish and the values have been provided for those who have trained in insulin adjustment.

Tahini, aubergine and salad vegetables are high in potassium which makes this recipe unsuitable for those on a low potassium diet. If you have been prescribed a phosphate binder ensure you take them with this dish.

The chick peas and bread are the main protein sources in this meal, it is high in protein as a light meal shared between four people.

The sumac and paprika can be omitted.

Leave out the breads or choose a gluten-free version.

Use dairy-free yoghurt and wholemeal pitta bread.

Although the salad should not be dressed until ready to serve, it can be made up a few hours in advance and refrigerated. The babaganoush, hummus and tzatziki can be eaten the day after, but are best eaten within a few hours (or straight after) making. They can be refrigerated, but bring out at least 30 minutes before eating to come to let them room temperature.

A food processor makes the hummus lovely and smooth but should not be used for the babaganoush or tzatziki, which should have a more chunky texture.