Growing up in a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern family, food is life!
Our greatest meals brought together family, friends and even strangers! Family-style meals, as they are often referred to, are often at the center of our culture. Gathering others around the table, to laugh and talk with one another, is what life was all about.
So in keeping with the heart of family, here are some shareable, family friendly, and delicious dips brought to you by my mom, Margaret and inspired by my grandmother. You can find these and more recipes on her page here.
Baba Ganoush/Imtebal – Eggplant Dip
2 large Eggplants
3-4 tbsp. Tahini (sesame seed) Paste
2 cloves Garlic
Juice from 2 lemons
¼ tsp. Salt
Pinch of hot Pepper or 1 fresh hot pepper chopped fine (optional)
Olive oil and Paprika to garnish
Begin by washing the eggplants and removing the top stem without cutting through it.
Cut a slit lengthwise, but do not cut in half, to vent any steam once in oven.
Place on a foil plate and place in the oven at 500 degrees for an hour and a half. The eggplant is done when the skin is burned and the inside is soft and juices appear.
Open the skin and slowly remove the inside with a spoon and place it in a bowl to cool, keeping any juices from the tray.
Once it has cooled down pour it in a food processor or blender and add garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt, pepper, and cumin.
Taste to check if you need more lemon or salt.
When serving, place eggplant dip in a deep plate, garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and drizzle with your favourite olive oil.
Hummus – Chickpea Dip
1 – 28 oz can of Chickpeas
2 tbsp Tahini paste
1 1/2 Lemons, juiced
¼ tsp. Salt
3 cloves of Garlic
½ Green Onion, chopped, for garnish
Boil Chickpeas (including liquid) on medium heat until soft.
Once soft and liquid has almost evaporated, mash using a potato masher or fork.
Chop garlic and add lemon juice, salt, and tahini sauce and mix well.
Drain the chikpeas from the can, reserving about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the liquid.
Add to food processor/blender with garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and salt.
To serve, place chickpea mixture in bowls or flat plates and garnish with a dash of paprika, parsley, diced green onion, and drizzle with your favourite olive oil.
Foul Moudammas – Fava Bean Dip
1 can of brown Fava beans
1 clove of Garlic
½ stem of green Onion
½ Hot Banana Pepper
1 Lemon or 2 according to taste, juiced
¼ tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Fresh or dry Parsley
Pour Fava beans (liquid included) in a small pot, and heat for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Meanwhile, finely chop Garlic, Onion, and Hot Pepper, and squeeze lemon. Set aside.
Once beans are soft and liquid almost dry, remove and set-aside for a couple of minutes to cool.
Once cool, in the pot, mash beans (with fork or potato masher).
Gather all ingredients and pour over beans and mix well.
To serve, place in bowls or flat plates and drizzle with Olive Oil and garnish with chopped Parsley.
Enjoy these delicious and nutritious snacks with pickles, olives, fresh radishes, as a vegetable dip, chip dip, and with Arabic/Pita bread.