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tomato, zucchini and yogurt for three vegetarian mezze dishes

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Rich in some of my childhood flavours, these three vegetarian mezze dishes are incredibly easy to prepare and represent an authentic taste of the Levantine cuisine. And they can be eaten on their own or served with some fresh lebanese pita bread.

So next time you plan a get together, make sure to include these three beautiful vegetarian dishes in your menu.

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kiwi topped lemon cheesecake

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I’m very happy to share with you guys the recipe of a fresh and lemony cheesecake. I admit I’m no expert when it comes to cheesecake making, but I think this recipe turned out so good and is truly worth sharing. Besides the ingredients, all that you will be needing is some patience and an adventurous spirit 🙂

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As well, it is worth noting that in this recipe I went for a less orthodox cheesecake base using an almond shortbread dough instead of the rather classical biscuit and butter base. And though cheesecake has been properly cooled after baking, its surface had some little cracks in the centre, however having this beautiful kiwi topping magically made all cracks disappear 😉

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muhammarah: bell pepper and walnut dip, a true levantine taste

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A pure Levantine treat, Muhammarah is yet another celebration of the magical world of walnuts. And besides being a perfect vegetarian choice, its rich flavours and texture make Muhammarah extremely hard to resist. So my guessing is, once you try it, you would always want to serve this delightful mezzé on top of your food menu next time, and every time, you have guests.

With the right ingredients, muhammarah is extremely easy to prepare yet so impressive serve. Make it in advance and keep it refrigerated till served sprinkled with good quality olive oil and pomegranate arils.

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the heavenly food of pomegranate jewelled aubergine mutabbal

 

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Mutabbal is one of my all-time favourite food, and when well prepared, I will have it anytime, anywhere…and all the time! An incarnation of simplicity yet richness, aubergine mutabbal is fresh, healthy, and needless to say, yummy.

You can prepare this mezze dish one day ahead, and thus save time for the preparation of other food, if any, on the actual day of serving it. As well, you would need to taste the aubergine to make sure it is not too bitter for food preparation. And while you may come across different ways and ingredients used in the preparation of this beautiful levantine mezze treat (different recipe here), mutabbal will always contain its one and only main ingredient, aubergine.

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For the Recipe

Ingredients

mutabbal:
1 medium to large eggplant, roasted
1/3 cup yogurt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup chopped parsley
salt & pepper to taste

topping:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup chopped sparsely

  • Start by cutting the roasted aubergine into halves or quarters and then removing the skin using a knife. Move the aubergine onto a chopping board and chop it roughly (you can process the aubergine in a food processor, though not too much. But I personally love the bulky texture created by chopping the aubergine rather than processing it). Once chopped, move the aubergine onto a sieve and allow it to drain for about 15 minutes in order to get rid of the maximum amount of its juice.
  • Meanwhile, mix the yogurt, tahini, and lemon juice in a small bowl, till you get a smooth paste.
  • Move the chopped aubergine into a medium bowl. Add the yogurt and tahini sauce, crushed garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Then mix all the ingredients till well combined. Keep it refrigerated, up to one day, till serving it.
  • To serve the mutabbal, move it onto a serving bowl or relatively deep plate. Sprinkle with olive oil, chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

Bon Appétit!

almond and pistachio coated chocolate truffles

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The Recipe

Pistachio coated dark chocolate truffles:
160 g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
4 tbsp double cream
1/4 cup shelled pistachio, finely chopped

Almond coated milk chocolate truffles:
160 g milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
4 tbsp double cream
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

To make the pistachio coated dark chocolate truffles:

  • Mix the chocolate and double cream in a heat-proof glass bowl placed over a double boiler. Stir the chocolate and cream often till chocolate has completely melted and has well combined with the cream.
  • Once chocolate has melted, pour the mixture into a smaller bowl and allow to cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating for about 2 hours. By then, the mixture would be bit firm.
  • Take small amounts of the mixture, about a teaspoon, and form them into small balls. Dip the chocolate balls into the chopped pistachio before placing them on a tray covered with baking paper.
  • Once you have prepared all the truffles, refrigerate them for about half an hour before serving them. Or you can keep them refrigerated for a few days, in an airtight containers, till ready to serve.
  • Allow the truffles to set at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving them.
  • Apply the same steps to make the almond coated milk chocolate truffles. Enjoy!

Bon Appétit!

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