Not much can beat the delicious flavours of Middle Eastern food. For me what makes this meal so divine is the variety of the dishes and flavours in your bowl. Each dish complements the next and the flavours highlight each other. This recipe may seem complex as it does have many elements involved, but you can make any number of the eight dishes as you want to make up your meal. Most of the dishes can be made while the aubergine and peppers are in the oven.
Flavour isn’t the only thing going for this meal. It is also super nourishing, packed with many of your key nutrients and essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, selenium and manganese. It is also a balanced meal including vegetables, whole grains, oils, and protein from the seeds and nuts.
Eight dishes can create kitchen mess and chaos. This is my timing of how I approach the meal.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (375 F).
Step 2: Make the Flatbread dough.
Step 3: Prepare the radishes (they need some time to soak in the lemon juice).
Step 4: Start the prep for the Israeli Salad and the Carrot Salad.
Step 5: Bake the Flatbread.
Step 6: While the Flatbread is baking make the Israeli Salad, Carrot Salad, Dukkah and Coriander Paste (No need to wash the blender between the two, a little Dukkah in the paste is nice).
Step 7: Once the Flatbread is done, turn the oven to 200 degrees (400F).
Step 8: Prepare the aubergine and peppers.
Step 9: Make the Tahini dressing and finish the preparing of the other salads.
Step 10: Roast the peppers and aubergine.
Step 11: Get the table set.
Step 12: Have all eight dishes in separate plates/bowls and let people serve themselves to make a Middle Eastern bowl with a ratio/combination of their preferred dishes.
Middle Eastern Bowl
servings: 4-6 time: 1 hour 15 minutes
See link for recipe
Variation: Instead of making the Zaatar filling you could make this one.
1 handful of spinach
1 tsp sumac
Optional, a few raisins
1) Wilt the spinach, mix in the sumac and place in the middle of the bread – see the recipe instructions for the bread.
4-6 radishes (1 per person)
2-4 tsp lemon juice (½ tsp per radish)
1) Thinly slice the radishes, and soak them in a bowl of lemon juice.
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1 cup diced cucumber
½ cup chopped parsley
5 tbs hemp seeds
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1) Dice the tomatoes and cucumber into 1cm cubed pieces.
2) Finely chop the parsley.
3) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
4) Serve cold from the fridge or at room temperature.
3 medium carrots (1½ cup grated)
3 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp olive oil
1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1) Peel and grate the carrots.
2) Peel and finely grate (zest) the ginger.
3) Mix all the ingredients together.
4) Place in a bowl ready to serve.
See link for recipe.
You can make the entire recipe but for this meal you only need 1/3 of the recipe.
1 cup tightly packed cup coriander
½ cup tightly packed parsley
¼ cup oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 small chilies de-seeded
1 small piece fresh peeled ginger
1 tbs tahini paste
½ tsp cumin seeds
1) Place all the ingredients in a blender/food processor and blend until smooth.
2) This paste is made for the aubergine, so when it is out of the oven slather some of the paste on top.
3) Keep the rest in a bowl so you can add more as needed. You may have leftovers but it keeps well in the fridge for a few days and it is yummy on lots of things, especially vegetables, fish and meat.
Makes 3/4 cup.
Roasted Red Peppers and Aubergine
2 red peppers
3 tbs oil (coconut, canola oil)
1) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (400 F).
2) Cut the red pepper in half and scoop out the pith/seed parts. Cut the halves into quarters
3) Slice the aubergine into 1½ cm discs.
4) Put the peppers and aubergine onto a baking tray and drizzle 3 tbs olive oil over them. Keep the pepper’s outer skin facing down to the tray.
5) Leave the peppers in the oven for 30 minutes and the aubergine for 40 minutes, flipping the aubergine half way through.
6) Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a plastic bag for 10 minutes. Take the peppers from the bag and scrape off the blackened skin with a knife.
7) Then remove the aubergine from the oven.
8) Serve hot from the oven or at room temperature. Spread the Coriander Paste over the aubergine, slice the peppers into strips and place in a serving bowl with a drizzle of olive oil.
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs water
1 tbs olive oil
1) Mix all the ingredients together.
2) Place in a small serving jug or bowl with a spoon ready for drizzling over your bowl.
* I use a dry cup measure for all my measuring (liquid and dry)