Have you ever seen a charcuterie board with no cheese on it? No? Well here is my Middle Eastern Inspired Charcuterie Board in perfect time for the month of Ramadan. I chose foods that well represent Middle Eastern flavors and foods and are key parts of Ramadan - pita bread to dip into authentic dips like baba ghannoush and hummus, cucumber & tomato, which are two overly used veggies in our cuisine, Medjool dates that are a key nutrient in our diet and important part of Ramadan, and grapes which are mentioned in the Quran six times because of their health benefits. I chose everything purposely and all the ingredients come so well together on this board.
The process is going to be a bit long because you need to create the baba ghannoush and hummus, however you will be left with leftovers of both so you can enjoy them for the following days to come.
This is a great board to make if you are having people over for iftar (the dinner you break your fast at). They can break their fast on this while you are prepping other foods! Also want to mention that this board is not only for my people doing Ramadan, but great for any vegetarians/vegans that never get to enjoy a normal charcuterie board.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes (this time is without including making the hummus & baba ghannoush, just creating the board overall)
This recipe is dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan.
1.Baba ghannoush - recipe down below
2. Hummus - recipe down below
3. 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced into rounds then sliced into halves
4. ¼ English cucumber or 1 Persian cucumber, sliced into rounds
5. 6 Medjool dates
6. Pita bread of choice (I used Joseph's pita bread and cut them into triangles)
1.First, grab your serving board. Grab two small bowls to scoop in the baba ghannoush and hummus into.
2. Hummus recipe:
1. First, make sure your 28oz can chickpeas are drained, but keep that aquafoba on the side for the hummus.
2. Grab a blender and dump the chickpeas in. Pour in 2 TBSPs of extra virgin olive oil, 4 TBSPS of tahini, and the juice of 1 lemon. Purée. PSA: do not let the hummus get to a smoothie consistency. We want it to be thick yet creamy.
3. Add a splash of aquafoba if need be. It may still be too thick. Puree. You can use a tamper to manually blend as well, sometimes the chickpeas can be stubborn.
4. Add 3 garlic cloves and salt. Puree. Add a splash of aquafoba if need be. Puree.
5. Do a taste test to see if the hummus needs more salt, tahini, olive oil, or lemon. Add those ingredients and pulse.
6. Scoop hummus out into a container and let it cool in the fridge for an hour.
3. Baba ghannoush recipe:
1. First, preheat your oven to 400 or you can choose to grill the eggplant(s). You will need 1 large eggplant or two small ones.
2. If you're baking the eggplant, place it on the rack and allow it to bake for about 45 minutes-1 hour. If you're grilling the eggplant place it on the cooking grate and allow it to grill for the same amount of time. Before you cook it though, make some holes in the eggplant with a fork.
3. You can tell the eggplant is done once it's softer and looks saggy.
4. Allow the eggplant to cool down a bit and then gently remove the skin of the eggplant until you're left with the mushy interior. You can de-seed the eggplant as well.
5. Place the interior part of the eggplant into a plate and use a fork to mash it well.
6. Now, add 2-3 TBSPS of tahini, 1-2 TBSPS of extra virgin olive oil, and the juice of ½ lemon into that same bowl. Mash the ingredients well together and add a splash of water to help the consistency.
7. Grab a mortar and pestle to crush and grind 3 garlic cloves into a paste. Add a drizzle of olive oil to help do so. Once the garlic looks paste-y add it to the eggplant bowl and mash again.
8. Salt to your liking. Make sure the consistency of the eggplant looks like the picture on the left. It's going to be very thick and creamy.
9. Now to garnish: add fresh chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds, and olive oil.
4. Have your pita, grapes, tomato, cucumber, and dates prepared to go onto the serving board.
5. Add them onto the serving board as shown on the left.