Something very different for you all today, but hotly requested after I posted some pics on Twitter of these delicious vegan dips I created for a summer mezze platter. I'm not normally one for sharing recipes but I do love to cook and get creative in the kitchen, particularly since I switched to a mostly plant-based diet. I love colourful foods and it's amazing how much more creative you get when you take meat and dairy out of the equation. Now these dips might be vegan, but they're certainly not limited to vegans! Everyone loves getting snacks out for guests when they come round in the summer, so whether this is for a picnic or a dinner party, chips and dip, or veggies and dip is always a great shout.
These three dips are super easy to make and it's easy to whip up bigger portions if you have a lot of guests coming over. Plus they freeze well if you want to make sure you always have a stock, just in case. They also make great packed lunches for work if you fancy something healthy. Just pair with fresh salad and falafel for a vegan option, or you could add quiche for a vegetarian option. After coming up with the idea for these in the supermarket car park, I came straight home and made them mostly out of ingredients I already had around the house. All you need is a blender and a little creativity to create the perfect mezze platter!
3 vegan mezze platter dips
Because hummus is life. Let's be serious, does anyone actually not like hummus? If so, this one isn't for you. I'm obsessed, but always prefer to make my own ever since I attended this Middle Eastern cookery school and learned how to make it. If you ask me, it's impossible to have a mezze platter without hummus.
- 1/2 tins chickpeas depending on how much you want to make
- Lemon juice (either fresh lemons or even lemon juice in a bottle)
- Garlic cloves – I grated two big cloves.
- Cajun seasoning
- Salt & pepper
- Drain the water from the tin/s of chickpeas into a bowl, pop the chickpeas in the blender.
- Add a good squeeze of lemon juice (at least one full lemon), some of the water from the chickpeas.
- Season with the grated garlic, a good pinch of salt (the salt is very important for the taste) and some ground black pepper. The amount you use will depend on personal preference – I don't tend to measure, I just go by taste and instinct.
- Add a pinch of cumin and blend until smooth.
- Give it a good stir inside the blender before you taste – make sure the flavours are properly mixed. Taste for flavour and add more salt/lemon/cajun as you prefer.
- Serve in a bowl, sprinkle more cajun seasoning on top, or add paprika for that lovely colouring.
- Keep any leftover chickpea water for the other recipes.
NOTE: You can add tahini (sesame paste) as many recipes do ask for it, I didn't have any at home and didn't miss the flavour of it so work with whatever you have available.
Beetroot, kidney bean & coconut yoghurt
The colour of this dip is insane and it looks amazing when paired with the others, plus a bright veggie mezze platter. After some time in the fridge to settle, it looks a bit like a raspberry sorbet and tastes fantastic. The tangy flavour works well with falafel for summer flavours, and would also be great in a sandwich or with cous cous.
- 500g fresh pickled beetroot (I used pickled but you can use raw beetroot as well)
- 1 tin of kidney beans (wash if in sauce, or drain the liquid)
- 1 big clove garlic grated
- Pinch of salt & ground black pepper to season
- Alpro Soy yoghurt (plain with coconut flavour)
- Put the kidney beans into the blender and slice the beetroot balls in half, then add.
- Pour in some of the chickpea/bean water from the previous recipe.
- Add the grated garlic (add more if you like it super garlicky!)
- Season with salt and as much pepper as you like.
- Blend until it's all mixed, then taste – it should be very tangy if you've used pickled beetroot.
- Add two big spoons of Alpro Soy coconut yoghurt to the mix and blend until smooth, now when you taste, the coconut yoghurt should have made it a lot creamier and will have just taken the edge off that sharpness.
- Serve – for a veggie version you could crumble a bit of feta cheese in the mix, or for vegans, maybe add a swirl of the yoghurt.
Pea, butter bean and mint
Now for my favourite dip of the collection and the one that inspired me to make the full mezze platter. This one is fresh, light and a perfect accompaniment to the tangy beetroot dip, and the spicy hummus. Together, they complement each other well and mean everyone is catered for.
- 1 bowl of frozen peas (or fresh if you have them) this is the base of the dip so the amount you use will affect how much you make.
- 1 tin of butter beans
- Lots of fresh mint
- Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- Alpro Soy yoghurt (plain with coconut flavour)
- For frozen peas, pop them in the microwave to soften them, then pop in the blender and add the drained butter beans
- Add a bit of the water from the butterbeans
- Tear up lots of fresh mint leaves – we grow our own so fresh from the garden is great but if not buy it from the supermarket. How much you add will depend on how strong the leaves are – ours were quite sweet so I added a lot more to get a sharper mint taste.
- Add the pinch of salt and lots of ground black pepper, and blend until smooth.
- Add two big spoons of the Alpro Soy coconut yoghurt to make it extra creamy and to add extra flavour to the dip.
- Serve with cracked black pepper on top, and a swirl of yoghurt.
Perfect for sunny summer days in the garden – whip up a quick mezze platter and a jug of Pimms and invite all your friends round for the afternoon. I'm amazed at how many requests I had for the recipes to these dips – so now you can all make them at home. Make sure you tag me in your pics and let me know what you think!
What are your favourite foods for summer mezze platters? What are your favourite vegan recipes?