Sumac & Za’atar Cauliflower Tacos with Baba Ganoush, Chimichurri and Fried Leeks

IMG_8389

Since it’s taco Tuesday, here is another vegetarian taco recipe. Not your traditional taco recipe, but a mash up of Middle Eastern and South American flavors. Crunchy cauliflower which I pan-roasted with sumac and za’atar, creamy baba ganoush, zesty chimichurri and for extra flavor and texture fried leeks. A messy eat but well worth it.

IMG_8390

This recipe is for 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the baba ganoush:

2 large eggplants

1/3 cup of tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lime

¾ of a teaspoon of garlic powder

¾ of a teaspoon of paprika powder

¾ of a teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of cumin

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pinch of cayenne

For the cauliflower:

½ a head of cauliflower

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of salt

1 ½ tablespoons of sumac

1 ½ tablespoons of Za’atar

Pinch of black pepper

For the fried leeks:

1 leek

Vegetable oil, about 2 cups

Salt

For the chimichurri:

2 cups of flat leaf parsley, firmly packed and without hard stems

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

1 tablespoons of dried oregano

½ cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon of salt

Pepper

Extras:

12 small tortillas

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

 

Start by making the baba ganoush, preheat your oven to 230C/446F and rub the skin of the eggplants with a bit of olive oil. Place them whole on a tray lined with parchment paper and roast them for 30 minutes.

Once they are roasted, slice them in half and spoon out the flesh. Place the tahini in the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Then add the eggplant and the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until you have a smooth dip. Taste for salt and adjust the spices to your liking. Set it aside to cool.

To make the chimichurri, place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is very fine. Set it aside.

To make the cauliflower, chop it into small chunks and place it in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon pepper, salt, sumac, Za’atar and black pepper. Mix it well.

Heat up a pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the seasoned cauliflower including any oil left in the bowl. Cook the cauliflower for about 7 minutes, stirring from time to time. Set it aside.

To make the fried leeks, thinly slice them the sizes of matchsticks (only the white and pale green parts). Then heat up the oil in a small pan over medium heat. Have a plate lined with paper towels ready. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced leeks in small batches. Cook until lightly golden and then place them on the prepared plate. Repeat until you are done.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Add some baba ganoush to each tortilla, then the cauliflower and a drizzle of chimichurri. Finally add the fried leeks and pomegranate seeds.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Feta Burgers with Chimichurri

burger

Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce that is very popular throughout South America. Whenever we had a barbeque growing up, we always had chimichurri on the table. We would always get the meat, sausages and chimichurri from an Argentinian butcher and it was to die for.

Nowadays, I always make it whenever we have a BBQ. It is always a hit. I like mine a bit more acidic than normal, so if you don’t, just add a bit more olive oil, or less lime juice.  I usually make chimichurri to accompany meat; it is very nice to dip some crusty bread in it while the meat is cooking as well. But this time I wanted it on a veggie burger.  I really like the combination of flavors with the sweet potato, feta and zucchini. The panko coating gives each burger a really nice crispy outside. This dish makes a very filling meatless Monday.

Ingredients:

For the Burgers:

1 kilo of sweet potatoes

2 zucchinis

200gr feta cheese, crumbled

2 eggs

½ cup of pre-cooked  cornmeal (I used PAN)

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

3 shallots, finely chopped

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Panko breadcrumbs, enough to coat each burger

For the chimichurri:

2 cups of flat leaf parsley, firmly packed and without hard stems

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

1 tablespoons of dried oregano

½ cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon of salt

Pepper

 

To make the chimichurri, just put all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is very fine.  Pour it into a small bowl and cover with plastic film. You can keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

CIMG6402

chimichurri

To make the burgers, first roast the sweet potatoes whole in the oven at 180C/350F for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until very tender.  Then peel and mash them.

Grate the zucchinis, discard of the core with the seeds.  Then try to squeeze as much of the water out of it.  Add the grated and squeezed zucchini to the bowl of the mashed sweet potatoes.

Sautee the shallots in a bit of olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add it to the zucchini and mashed sweet potatoes.

Crumble the feta into the burger mixture; add the eggs, cornmeal and flour. Add some pepper and a bit of salt. Don’t add too much salt, because the feta is already quite salty.  Mix well.

Over medium heat, add some olive oil to a non-stick pan.

Put about 2 cups of panko on a flat plate, spoon some of burger mixture in the middle of the plate.  You can use a measuring cup, an ice cream scoop or a regular spoon.  Spoon some of the panko on top of the mixture and around the edges. Flatten it a bit to make it look like a burger.  Then with the help of a spatula, lift the burger. Make sure it’s evenly coated in panko and pan-fry it.  Let it turn golden before flipping it. You don’t want to touch it too much otherwise it will fall apart. Once both sides are golden, remove from the pan. Repeat for all of the mixture.

Serve with the chimichurri.

burgers