Making a “mezze” of things…..

I recently had a culinary epiphany – BLACK TAHINI.


Just make up your hummus as normal, using regular tahini, and then mix through a swirl of this stuff….


It’s all natural, made from black sesame seeds. I topped mine off with some nice olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.

It tastes fantastic, and looks (in my opinion) incredible.

I liked it so much that I had to make it the centrepiece of a mezze….


On the plates we have harissa griddled aubergine, zaatar griddled courgette (from the garden). salad and sprouts (in a light vinaigrette) . Left to right – patatas bravas, stuffed vineleaves/dolmades (cheated – they’re from a tin!), garlic and pimenton sausage and beans, and of course the hummus.


I roasted cubed potatoes in a mix of sweet pimenton, cayenne pepper, black pepper and coconut sugar, and then baked them in a tomato, garlic and chilli sauce….


I opened a tin of dolmades. The hard bit was not eating them all as I cooked….


A pack of WHEATY MERGUEZ sausages, a pack of frozen edamame beans, fried up in olive oil with lots of smoked paprika and garlic – my take on the classic chorizo and fava dish.


The aubergine was marinaded in HARRY BRAND HARISSA, lemon juice and olive oil. Then griddled, and then baked until it was “melt-in-the-mouth”. The courgette was marinaded in lemon juice, olive oil, and ZAYTOUN PALESTINIAN ZA’ATAR, then griddled, and baked the same as the aubergine.

I’m pretty sure this meal had more garlic per head than anything I’ve prepared before (at least 5 or 6 bulbs went into this meal), so i’m pretty sure we’re safe from vampires for the mean time.




It’s been a while – here’s something I made earlier……

You know that thing where life gets in the way, and you haven’t updated your blog in ages…….

Things have been rather busy of late here – new job happened, trips away happened, amazing vegan food happening.

We had a couple of friends round for dinner last night. They wanted tapas. I was always a huge fan of chorizo, so decided to try my hand at making some.


Not bad for a first attempt!

I’ve been experimenting with vital wheat gluten alot recently, making my own seitan. So I knew it’d be a good base to start with. I mixed through some crushed cannelini beans, ALL the garlic, a metric tonne (or two) of smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper and chipotle flakes. Added a dash of tomato puree, salt and a touch of sugar. Poured in enough veg stock to make a dough, then kneaded for about five minutes. I’m always amazed at how quickly seitan comes together when you knead it, and it starts to get that “meaty” texture straight away.

Next up I rolled it into “sausages”, wrapped in foil, and steamed for around 40 minutes. Let them cool, remove the foil, and then let them sit overnight.

I fried them up with some canellini beans.

Verdict – they were pretty good for a first draft. They definitely need more umami in there – I’m thinking just a drop of miso to enrich the flavour, and some oil actually mixed in – maybe toasted sesame. When I fried the chorizo it didn’t release the smokey red oils you normally get with good Spanish chorizo.