Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mediterranean Style Dinner Plate Part 2 – Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Eggplant in Honey Garlic Sauce

To download a copy of the recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, click HERE.


To download a copy of the recipe for Eggplant in Honey Garlic Sauce, click HERE.


Last week, we presented Part 1 of a two-part vegetarian “Mediterranean Style Dinner Plate” concept, a unique, easy-to-make meal packed with both taste and nutrition. (To see last week’s recipes for Israeli Couscous with Roasted Tomato and Olives Topped with Oven Fried Falafel Patties, click HERE.) This week, as promised, we present Part 2, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Eggplant in Honey Garlic Sauce. They’re great by themselves, and when combined with last week’s food offering and some pita bread, make a meal that’s filling, healthy, and even colorful!


Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:

  • For making the roasted red pepper hummus you can, of course, elect to buy a jar of roasted red peppers. In this recipe, we’ll be making our own. (I’ve never been sure why, but this has always felt to me like one of the most fun things to do in the kitchen.) When roasting one red pepper, it’s usually easier to do it directly on the stove burner. Since this recipe calls for two, we’ll use the broiler instead.

  • Similarly, you can buy tahini but we’ll make our own. This recipe makes about twice as much tahini as you’ll need to make the hummus. The rest can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to three months, or used with the falafel we made last week as part of the same dinner plate.

  • We’ll be using a food processor to make the tahini and the hummus. In the photos accompanying the recipe below, I used a mini-processor and worked in batches, only because it was handier for me to get to. If you have a full size food processor, by all means use it.


This recipe makes four servings.


You’ll need the following ingredients.

  • For the hummus: 2 red bell peppers; tahini (1 C sesame seeds; ¼ cup olive oil; 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice; 6 Tbsp plain, fat-free yogurt; and ½ tsp salt); 1-3/4 cu canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed; 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 3 Tbsp chopped onion; ½ tsp cumin; pinch cayenne pepper; salt and pepper to taste; pita bread; and garnish (2 Tbsp dried parsley; and olive oil for drizzle).

  • For the eggplant: sauce base (¾ cup vegetable stock; 1-1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar; 1 tsp honey; pinch ground ginger; pinch fresh ground black pepper); 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 tsp cornstarch; 1 Tbsp honey; 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar; 1 eggplant (about 1 pound); olive oil for sauté; ¼ cup vegetable stock


Like most cold-mix foods, hummus tastes even better when it can rest for a while – even overnight – while the flavors all get to know each other. Let’s do that first, starting by roasting the red peppers.


Preheat the broiler to high.


Wash and quarter the peppers. Place them skin-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. (Use foil, not parchment. The peppers won’t stick, and we’ll need the foil for part of the roasting process.)


Place the baking sheet in the oven under the broiler until the skin is blackened. (It will take a few minutes, so keep an eye on it.)


After the skins have blackened, seal the peppers inside the foil and let them rest for about 30 minutes while steaming in their own moisture.






While the peppers are resting, let’s make our tahini.


In a non-stick pan (or in the oven at 350 degrees) toast the sesame seeds for 5 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Combine the sesame seeds with the olive oil in a food processor and puree until creamy, about 90 seconds.

Transfer the tahini to a bowl and separate into two equal portions. As noted above, one portion will be used to make the hummus; the other can be stored, or used to top the falafel we made in last week’s recipe.


With the tahini made and the red peppers rested, let’s make our hummus.


Open the foil packet and peel the skins from the roasted peppers. (The skins should remove easily.) Cut the peppers into pieces small enough for the food processor.)


Combine the tahini, chick peas, lemon juice, garlic, red peppers, onion, cumin and cayenne pepper in a food processor and puree to desired consistency, about 1 – 2 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside till ready to serve.










Now we’ll start the eggplant.


Combine sauce base ingredients in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil, add the garlic, then simmer till reduced by half (about ¼ cup).

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the cornstarch and mix well to avoid clumping.

Add 1 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar and mix well. Set the sauce aside till needed.

Trim the top and bottom from the eggplant, and slice in half lengthwise. Slice each half into ¼” thick pieces.

Heat a little olive oil in a large pan, and place the eggplant pieces in the pan. Heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add ¼ cup of vegetable stock, cover, and let the eggplant steam over medium-low heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

(My large pan doesn't have a cover, so I used a baking pan.)

Turn the heat off under the eggplant. Add the sauce and mix to combine.

To serve, plate some of the hummus (topped with parsley and olive oil), get some of the eggplant in sauce on the side, and serve with sliced pita bread for the hummus. (Of course, if you also wanted to have some of the Israeli couscous and oven-fried falafel we made in last week’s recipes, that would be even better!)


To download a copy of the recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, click HERE.


To download a copy of the recipe for Eggplant in Honey Garlic Sauce, click HERE.


Enjoy in good health!


Be sure to visit again next week for another tasty recipe that’s kitchen-tested and home-cook friendly. Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


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