Dvir Nusery and Nicola Crowley

Dvir Nusery and Nicola Crowley Matthew.ie Photography

Will you be having guests over this Christmas? These vegan platter and dip recipes from Dvir and Nicola of Mezze in Waterford, are perfect served at a party, as appetisers or even as your main meal with a few salads and falafel.

Nicola, who was born and bred in Waterford, met Dvir, who is Israeli, while they were both backpacking around the world. They settled in Israel for a while, where they discovered a vibrant food culture.

On returning to Ireland with Dvir by her side, Nicola realised that the Irish public wanted more flavour and variety in their food and so Mezze was born. The company offers catering, appears at food festivals, supplies Middle Eastern ingredients and creates lavosh flatbreads that are sold at independent stores around the country.

Nicola and Dvir were kind enough to give us some ideas to help you make the perfect platter when you're entertaining guests this Christmas. The recipes are all vegan, but they're so good that even meat-eaters will be looking for second helpings!

Vegan Mezze Platter

"Our Mezze Platters are always a hit with guests. We serve them as party nibbles, appetisers during our pop up dinners or when we’re lucky enough to have leftovers, as a leisurely lunch. Most of the preparation can be done in advance so the platter can be left on the table for when guests arrive, leaving you more time to enjoy with your guests." 

Ingredients

  • Hummus masabkha 
  • Red pepper and walnut dip
  • Baba ganoush 
  • Crudités – mange tout, raw beetroot, carrots and radish work really well
  • Pickles and olives
  • Fresh bread cut into small slices or pita bread cut into wedges
  • Mezze lavosh flatbreads
  • Nuts – almonds and walnuts work well 

Method

  1. Prepare the dips following the recipes below. These can be prepared the day before and kept in the refrigerator.
  2. Cut the carrots and beetroot into batons, cut radishes in half and place with mangetout all together in a box or covered dish in the fridge. You can do this a few hours in advance.
  3. About 20 minutes before your guests arrive pull out a big wooden board for all 3 dips and nibbles. Place the bowls of dip on the board and arrange the nibbles around them, breaking up the lavosh flatbreads for easy dipping.

Hummus Masabkha

"This chunky hummus can be found in hummus restaurants around Israel and is our favourite type. If you want to get really authentic eat this warm served into bowls straight from the pot."

Ingredients

  • 125g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 100g tahini
  • 125ml ice cold water
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • Paprika and extra virgin rapeseed oil to serve

Method

  1. Drain the chickpeas and add to a large saucepan with the baking soda (this will help them cook faster) and plenty of fresh water. Cook for approximately 40 minutes until soft. Check by trying to squash a chickpea against the side of the saucepan, if it squashes, it's done.
  2. Drain cooked chickpeas and reserve some whole chickpeas for the top of the hummus. Mash the chickpeas a little so some remain whole, add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  3. To serve, spoon the hummus into a bowl leaving a well in the middle. Place whole chickpeas into the well, drizzle a little oil on top, and sprinkle with paprika.

Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

"This recipe is based on a Syrian dish called muhammara. The original dish calls for Aleppo chillis but I like to omit these so heat-opposed guests can enjoy it. Feel free to add a tsp of chilli flakes to spice it up."

Baba Ganoush

"This baba ganoush is smoky and creamy and adds great flavour to the mezze spread."

Ingredients:

  • 2 aubergines
  • 150g tahini
  • 180 ml ice cold water
  • Handful of fresh parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

  1. If you have a gas hob and don’t mind the clean up afterwards, the aubergines taste really good when cooked directly on the flame. Alternatively, heat the oven to 200C and roast the whole aubergines on a tray for 35 minutes or until the skin is blackened and the inside is very soft. Pierce the aubergine with a sharp knife to check.
  2. Remove the aubergines from the oven and place into a box or saucepan with a lid to cool a little. Peel when cool enough to touch.
  3. Place the aubergines and remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste.
  4. To serve, spoon into a bowl, drizzle with oil, throw on some parsley leaves and some pomegranate seeds if you have some to hand.

Vegan Mushroom Pâté

"This dish is always on our recipe list for parties and even the meat-eaters come back for more! Serve with crusty bread, lavosh flatbreads and crudités. The pâté can be made the day before and will keep for up to a week in the fridge so hope for some leftovers!" 

Thanks to Nicola and Dvir for this step-by-step guide to Middle Eastern mezze platters, we can't wait to try the recipes out this Christmas!

To see more from Mezze, check out their website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.