Munch on mezze

Recipes by: Zahra Abdalla, culinary personality, food blogger and author of Cooking with Zahra
Filed on January 10, 2020
Parsley & Pomegranate Salad Zaatar & Cheese Rolls Kibbeh Balls

Parsley & Pomegranate Salad

Zaatar & Cheese Rolls

Kibbeh Balls

The alluring cuisine of the Middle East finds both traditional and modern interpretations in these dishes

Parsley & Pomegranate Salad
Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 bunches fresh parsley
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1½tsp sugar
1tsp sumac
3tbsp olive oil
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
1tsp pomegranate molasses
¼ cup pomegranate jewels
Pink salt for taste

Method
Thoroughly wash and dry the parsley and remove the leaves from the stem. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the onions, sugar, sumac, pink salt and olive oil, and let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes.
To this, add the apple cider vinegar and pomegranate molasses, and allow to sit for an additional five minutes.
Toss the parsley in the pomegranate mixture, season with pink salt and garnish with pomegranate jewels to serve.

Zaatar & Cheese Rolls
Makes: 30 pieces

Ingredients
? cup zaatar mix
1 cup Greek feta cheese, finely chopped
? cup olive oil
30 large spring roll wrappers, defrosted
2tbsp all-purpose flour
Water as needed
Vegetable oil, for frying

Method
For filling: Combine the zaatar mix, Greek feta cheese and olive oil in a medium-sized bowl, and keep aside. In a small bowl combine the flour with a very small about of water to make a paste. This paste will be used to hold the edges of the roll together.
For roll: Lay one spring roll wrapper on a flat base and spoon 1 teaspoon of the filling on to the bottom end of the wrapper. Roll the wrapper tightly until the filling is covered, then fold about 1cm of each side of the sheet (to avoid any spillage), and continue rolling tightly. Brush the paste on the edges of the wrapper and press to seal the
top end.
Once all the rolls are prepared, deep-fry until they are golden-brown. Alternatively, brush the zaatar and cheese rolls with vegetable oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 8 to10 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Kibbeh Balls
Makes: 36-38

Ingredients
Kibbeh mixture
500gm bulgar
500gm ground lamb
500gm ground beef
1 large onion, finely minced
5tsp salt
½tsp black pepper powder
½tsp white pepper powder
1tsp cinnamon powder
1tsp 7-spice powder
1tsp cumin powder
1tsp coriander powder

For filling
3 large onions, chopped
4tbsp olive oil
250gm lamb, roughly minced
1tsp 7-spice powder
¼tsp white pepper powder
¼tspblack pepper powder
1tsp salt
½tbsp pomegranate molasses
½tsp sugar
1tsp ground sumac
½cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Vegetable oil for frying

Method
Wash and soak bulgar for 10 minutes and drain the excess water. Combine the ground beef, ground lamb, soaked bulgar, onion and the spices in a food processor until it reaches a dough-like consistency. Add a bit of water, if necessary, until you get the right consistency. Put the mixture in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For filling: Sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent and keep aside. Wipe the pan, add the minced lamb and fry the meat until it has browned. Season with 7-spice powder, white pepper powder, black pepper powder and salt. Add the sautèd onions, pomegranate molasses, sugar, ground sumac and walnuts. Cook on low heat for additional five minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
For kibbeh: Take a small ball of the kibbeh mix and make a hole in the centre with your finger. Widen the hole gradually. Fill the hole with about 2 teaspoons of the filling and close it, forming an oval shape with the pointed end. Moisten your hands with cold water throughout the process to keep the mixture from sticking to your hand, and to give a smooth finish to the kibbeh.
Preheat a pot with vegetable oil and deep-fry each kibbeh until it turns a beautiful golden-brown colour. Alternatively, preheat the oven at 200°C, coat each kibbeh with vegetable oil and bake for 20 minutes. Serve the kibbeh with a side of yoghurt and salad.


 
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