Melitzanosalata & Tzatziki with Lemon Chickpeas

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Not sure why I decided to make something I can’t even pronounce this week ‘mel-it-zano-salata’… Can’t I just call it baba ganoush? Err not really because it isn’t baba ganoush. Baba ganoush is made with tahini and is more houmous like in texture you big idiot. Oh… Well can I call it aubergine dip then?… Err yeah okay.
So I bought a big old aubergine last week and had no idea what to do with it, not being a fan of baked aubergine or moussaka I was a bit stuck for ideas so decided to ignore it. I couldn’t though because it was too big and taking up all the room in my fridge so what did I decide to do? Buy two more aubergines of course and make melonitozansolsalastaaahhh (still can’t say it) aubergine dip. I recently bought some freshly made melitzantosasalata (Oh I give up) from a Greek Deli in Kentish town and liked it so much I ended up eating it with a spoon like a yogurt. So I thought I’d try my hand at making it myself which I’ve never done before. But I can’t just make aubergine dip can I? Surely I need to make something to go with it? How about tzatziki? Yes I love tzatziki!… But that’s just more dip, you can’t have dip to go with your dip. Hmm, what about chickpeas? Yes houmous! No not houmous, that would make three dips! Oh I see… What about hot lemon chickpeas? Now you’re talking!

Melitzanosalata
Makes 1 bowl / Takes 2 hours / Vegan
Ingredients:
4 medium aubergines
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 Tbs Pomoro Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Small handful of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
Olive oil for brushing
Flat breads to serve (optional) 

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan)
2. Cut the aubergines lengthways, brush each side with olive oil and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper face down.
3. Bake for 25 minutes turn and bake for another 25 minutes.

4. Once cooked leave to Cool for 10 minutes. Scrape out the flesh of each aubergine using a fork and a spoon and pop the flesh in a bowl.
5. Add the crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of Pomoro Extra Virgin Olive Oil, season well with sat and pepper and blitz briefly with a hand blender.

6. Mix in the chopped parsley and refrigerate for half an hour to cool. 
7. Serve topped with a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley, a drizzle of Pomoro Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a crack of salt and pepper.

Tzatziki
Makes one bowl / Takes 45 minutes
Ingredients:
Half a grated cucumber
250g of Greek yogurt
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 tsp of lemon juice
1 Tbs Pomoro Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Small handful of freshly chopped mint
Salt and pepper
A small handful of black olives to serve (optional)

Method:
1. Grate half a cucumber and pop it in a colander with a sprinkle of salt. Give it a mix and leave to drain for half an hour.
2. Meanwhile crush the garlic cloves and mix with the Pomoro Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the lemon juice to infuse. Discard the stalks and finely chop your mint leaves.


3. Once the cucumber has drained, give it and extra squeeze with your hand to get rid of as much moisture as possible. In a separate bowl combine the cucumber with the yogurt, the garlic mixture and the fresh mint. Combine well and season to taste.
4. Serve topped with an olive and good drizzle of Pomoro Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Warm Lemon Chickpeas
Serves 4 / Takes half an hour / Vegan
Ingredients:

2 cans of chickpeas
1 celery stick
1 medium carrot
3 Garlic cloves
1 white onion
Juice of 3 lemons
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper
3 Tbs Pomoro Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Small handful finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper 

Method: 
1. Cook the finely chopped onion, celery and carrot on a medium to low heat in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to help steam the vegetables and add the crushed garlic and the two cans of drained chickpeas. Season well with salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 10 minutes with the lid on a jar to aid steaming.
2. Meanwhile, zest one of your lemons and then juice it into a bowl along with the other two lemons. Finely chop your handful of parsley and put to one side.
3. Once the chickpeas are soft, take off the heat and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, three tablespoons of Pomoro Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the freshly chopped parsley. Season to taste and serve.
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If you’ve had a go at making my mezze dips I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com
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