Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Greek Appetizer

My inspiration came from the Celebrate! cookbook by Sheila Lukins. In her Greek Easter section, there are several appetizers that are vegan. Pictured above are skordalia, baba ghanoush, bean and beet salad, and pita triangles. Their rich, snappy flavors wowed my husband and brother. However, the preparation of these dishes was labor intensive. So set aside 2 hours and put on some Mediterranean polka music (Lukens suggests Nikos Gounaris, or Nana Mouskouri).


1yukon gold, red, or white potato (4 0z)

4-5 slices stale white bread

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 cloves garlic

    1. Cut potato into quarters and boil until tender; I used a microwave oven. Once potato is cool peel off skin and put into your food processor or strong blender.

    2. Dip your stale white vegan bread ( I needed to use up some sourdough and it seemed to work, if you like that added taste) into water to saturate, then squeeze gently until bread is no longer dripping profusely. Your bread is not stale? I put mine out on the stove while the eggplant was baking. Or put some slices out of it's package a day ahead, or toast it slightly. Set aside.
    3. Mix the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt and sugar together and set aside.

    4. mash the garlic through a garlic press and add this and the almonds to the

    potato. Pulse your machine on and off just until smooth. Don't over mix.

    5. With the machine running, add a little of the lemon juice mixture and bread, alternating between until all is processed and smooth. Transfer to serving bowl.

    Baba Ghanoush

    2 eggplants (about 2 pounds)

    2 cloves garlic

    1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt

    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    2 tablespoons chopped parsley

    1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

    salt and pepper to taste

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    2. Poke the eggplants with toothpick or tines of a fork a few times. Wrap them in aluminum foil. Place on baking sheet and roast for an hour until very soft.

    3. Finely chop the garlic with the salt and set aside.

    4. Remove the eggplant from oven. Carefully unwrap the foil as soon as possible to expedite cooling. When safe to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. Yes they are tiny and pervasive! You will end up throwing away much of this fruit, but the seeds will make the dip bitter. Scoop out the remaining flesh or peel off the skin, which ever is easier and place in a food processor or blender.

    5. Add all remaining ingredients, except salt and pepper. Blend just until mixed. Transfer into serving bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Bean and Beet Salad


    1/4 red wine vinegar

    2 small cloves garlic

    1/2 teaspoons coarse (kosher)salt

    Fresh ground pepper


    1 can cannelini beans, 14 oz.

    1 can sliced beets, 8 oz.

    1/4 cup chopped parsley

    1 /2 cup chopped walnuts

    2 scallions, chopped

    1. Mince the garlic into the salt. Put into a closeable container. Add vinegar and oil and shake vigorously before pouring half into the salad.

    2. Drain and rinse and pat dry the beans. Mix with the parsley and toss with the vinaigrette dressing.

    3. Drain beets and cut into fourths. Gently fold in beets. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle walnuts and scallions.

    These dips should be served with warm pita bread. I covered and refridgerated all of them. They kept for a few days. Today I ate them for breakfast just before a road trip. My companion did not partake, therefore she will be subjected to my garlic breath. Sometimes I am so cruel. Bru Ha Ha.

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