I’m moving to Morocco in a couple of days so, to get me in the mood, tonight I felt like making a little mezze from the random contents of the cupboard and fridge. It ended up looking like this. In case you are wondering what is in all those little bowls we have, from left to right, caramalised balsamic onions, roasted red peppers and squash, giant couscous, celery, sweetcorn and beetroot salad, vegan sushi, hummus, mung bean and coriander dip and mini toasts. Yes, I am aware that most of these dishes are not even slightly Moroccan, and in fact there are influences of Japan, France, India and Italy in there, what can I say, my palate is well-travelled.
It’s all pretty simple to make, requires a food processor and as much of this was based on leftovers, you could easily substitute anything you liked into it.
Hummus (houmous, humus, humous, who-Mo0se?)
There are a gazillion hummus recipes out there, mine is always sans-garlic, cause I don’t like it.
In a food processor chuck the following…
1 can of chickpeas, 2 tbsp tahini, juice of 1 lemon, large pinch salt, 2 large glugs (yes a glug is a real measurement, ask Jamie O) of EV olive oil. You can put a clove or two of garlic in if you like (weirdo!)
Mung bean, pesto and coriander dip
I soaked a cup of mung beans overnight and then drained the water, put them in fresh water in a saucepan and cooked them with the lid on for about 30-40 minutes until they were soft but not totally disintegrating into the water (a danger with mung). Drain any excess water, let them cool for a few mins and then chuck in the food processor with 1 tbsp of pesto, 2 large handfuls of chopped coriander and another glug of EVOO. If you want to make it vegan, either make your own pesto first, or chuck in a handful of basil leaves and some pine nuts and lemon juice to the batch instead of pesto from a jar (which we happened to have in the fridge that needed using.)
Mini dipping toasts
We had some beautiful home-made seed bread that was half and half (half white half wholemeal) that was a few days old, so perfect for mini toasts. Chop into triangles, drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with sea salt and pop on a baking tray in the oven at 160C until light brown, they might need a turn over to make sure they’re crunchy with no soft bits.
Dead easy, I sliced the onions finely, put in a large non-stick frying pan, ith a little coconut oil on a very low heat and left them to soften for about 30 minutes, then I added a few go.od glugs of balsamic vinegar, stirred and let them site on the low heat for another 30 minutes till they were super soft. Make sure you don’t let them burn though or you’ll ruin the whole batch.
Roasted squash and red peppers
I literally just sliced ’em up, drizzled with EVOO and chucked them in the oven at 180C until they were soft. You could use any squash, this one is from an allotment somewhere in Hackney as part of a local veg box scheme.
In the fridge I found a few roasted beetroot, a whole cooked corn on the cob and some cooked giant couscous, so I chopped up some celery really small, took the corn off the cob, cubed the beetroot, chopped up some parsley and mixed it all together. Then I made a yoghurt and tahini dressing (good quality organic natural yoghurt, 2 tsp tahini, EVOO, 1 tsp mean mustard). Again if you want it vegan, just leave out the yoghurt and either use soya or up the quantity of tahini.
You can pretty much do this with literally any leftovers you find in a the fridge, chop ’em up dead small, mix them together and make a dressing.
Another leftovers job, I had some sticky short grain brown rice leftover, so I mixed a little rice vinegar in, julienned a tiny bit of carrot, celery and the roasted beetroot, soaked them in soy sauce for a few minutes, grabbed a couple of sheets of sushi nori and cobbled this together. I didn’t use a sushi mat (although I later found one in a drawer), but I did use a Japanese steel blade to slice them to get a clean cut.
My favourite was the mung bean dip, probably cause I’ve never made it before and I love tasting something new for the first time.