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Hummus bar

Middle Eastern cuisine has been gaining ground in the culinary world in recent years. Here are a few delicious dips for you to try – they’re bursting with flavours and exotic charm!

Photos: Marie des neiges Magnan

In search of a 100% vegan aperitif idea that’s as delicious as it is impressive? Try a hummus bar! Serve up three types of this popular chickpea dip (varieties made with grilled eggplant and grilled peppers or with beets), alongside a platter of raw vegetables, crackers, pita bread, and tortilla chips.

You’re bound to get thirsty, so plan on serving a rosé bubbly with the Fruity and Vibrant taste tag. The latter bottle’s hints of acidity will highlight the lemon in the eggplant caviar, whereas an amber-style beer is a great match for the rich flavours of the roasted nuts in the pepper-based hummus. With the beets dip, we recommend Gamay, known for its freshness and velvety tannins. Or go with a Pinot Noir that has notes of red fruits and fresh herbs. And of course, this setup will be perfect for a 5 à 7 without fuss, to accompany cocktails or thirst-quenching beers.

Baba ganoush (eggplant caviar)

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Makes: About 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) (About 8 portions of 45 mL each)

Pairing: Rosé bubbly with the Fruit and Vibrant taste tag

Ingredients

Eggplant caviar
3 eggplants
Juice of one or two lemons (to taste)
1 head of garlic, roasted
60 mL (1/4 cup) olive oil
15 mL (1 tbsp) tahini, or more to taste
Salt and pepper

Toppings
Crushed tomatoes
Herbs (chives, basil, parsley, etc.)
Olive oil

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Cut eggplants in half-lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place skin-side down on baking sheet and cook for roughly 45 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.
4. Remove the cooked interior and place in food processor or blender with remaining ingredients.
5. Purée until smooth or just mixed, according to taste. Adjust seasonings to taste.
6. Garnish with crushed tomatoes and herbs, and season with fleur de sel, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Muhammara (grilled pepper and nut dip)

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Makes: About 500 mL (2 cups) (About 10 portions of 50 mL each)

Pairing: Ale-type amber beer

Ingredients

3 red peppers, cut lengthwise, and cored
2 cloves garlic
75 mL (1/3 cup) olive oil
125 mL (1/2 cup) walnuts
30 mL (2 tablespoon) pomegranate molasses
Juice of one lemon
15 mL (1 tbsp) sweet paprika
5 mL (1 tsp) Espelette or Aleppo pepper
1 mL (1/4 tsp) ground cumin
60 mL (1/4 cup) breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Toppings
Chopped walnuts
Pomegranate seeds

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set peppers on the paper.
3. Lightly coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Bake in oven for roughly 45 minutes, or until peppers are golden brown and tender.
5. In a food processor or blender, add together all the remaining ingredients to the roasted peppers, and blend until coarsely puréed. Season to taste.
6. Garnish with grilled walnuts and pomegranate seeds.
7. Serve with raw vegetables, pita bread, bread rusks, etc.

Beet hummus

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour
6 servings

Pairing: Red wine Fruity and Light

Ingredients

3 medium red beets
125 mL (1/2 cup) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
5 mL (1 tsp) smoked paprika
10 mL (2 tsp) ground coriander
1 540-mL (19-oz) can chickpeas
60 mL (1/4 cup) tahini
Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
Salt

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
2. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil, place them in an ovenproof dish and bake for 60 minutes.
3. In a small saucepan over low, heat the oil with the garlic slices until golden, about 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add the paprika and coriander, and stir well. 
5. Set aside.
6. Allow the beets to cool for 15 minutes, then remove the skin.
7. In a food processor, blend beets until smooth. Add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic oil, and process again. 
8. Serve with crudités.

Tip

If you’re short on time, simply use precooked, vacuum-packed beets sold in most grocery stores. Just purée all the ingredients together, transfer to a handy eco-friendly container and head off!