No, that’s not a spelling mistake in the title – that’s what we dubbed tonight’s dinner. It wasn’t true mezze, but it was close enough, with lots of yummy picky bits – so we called it ‘Vegan Mezz’.
Alongside a dish of olives, a dish of sliced peppers, and a little bowl of the remaining lime-pickled cauliflower and red onion that I made yesterday, Si also thinly sliced the last bit of salt-baked beetroot that we had with our stuffed cabbage leaves on Sunday – who says veganing can’t be thrifty?
But the main dishes took a bit more putting together, making the most of much of the remaining veg that we bought in the market. These were babaganoush, a roasted garlic and cannellini bean dip, paprika-roasted sweet potato cubes, and of course, falafel – plus one of Si’s beautiful flatbreads.
He made the babaganoush by charring an aubergine over the hob, then roasting it in the oven, wrapped in foil. That done, Si popped the aubergine in a plastic bag to sweat off the charred skin, discarded this, and blended the flesh with cumin and toasted ground sesame seeds (which he calls ‘tahini powder’).
The bean dip was simpler still – you just roast a whole head of garlic in the oven, then blitz it with cannellini beans and parsley – this is one of my favourite things that Si makes – honestly, I could sit and eat it with a spoon (though this might be a bit antisocial given how much garlic goes into it!).
We needed the parsley for the falafel too – this was a mix of chickpeas, lots of spices, breadcrumbs, onions, parsley, and garlic all blended together, shaped into balls and roasted in the oven.
Plated up and arranged on the table, it looked amazing: properly eating the rainbow! This is probably the most labour-intensive/fiddly meal we’ve made so far this Veganuary, but boy was it worth it – the falafel were crisp and crumbly, and their dry mouthfeel really complimented the beautifully soft and sweet sweet potato and beetroot – a great contrast of textures. The olives were pleasingly salty and the pickled veg was (if I do say so myself) a great touch of crunch and a spike of sharpness amongst the warmer flavours, and the dips, served with still-warm flatbread, were the crowning touch – smooth, garlicky bean dip, and deeply smoky babaganoush.
It was yummy and, above all, it felt really healthy and wholesome – another treat! I’ve really enjoyed working our way through the market bowls – it’ll be interesting to see what we get when our Abel and Cole delivery arrives tomorrow, let’s see how the quality and quantity compares. For the next two weeks, we’ll be organic vegans – watch this space…
Today I ate/drank:
- Tea with cashew milk
- Broccoli soup and bread with vegan spread
- Half a flatbread with garlic hot sauce
- Fizzy squash
- Vegan mezz
- Fizzy water with blueberry cordial
- Fizzy water
- Strong cheddar
- Chocolate brownie with peanut butter
- A really fresh, sharp parmesan
- Fizzy squash (we’re all out, and the blueberry cordial is not nice!)