You should all be proud of me for not making some kind of “it’s real in Israel” pun for the title. I certainly am.
Despite my terrible lack of talent in naming these blogs, my Israeli snacks came out really well! I kept it simple, because I was providing some snacks for a trip to some outdoor theater. I picked Israel for this outing because the food is easy to snack on al fresco and I decided to baba ganoush and falafel, which have similar ingredients. They are two very traditional Israeli dishes. Israeli cuisine has a lot of outside influences and even though I could have made these two dishes for numerous countries, falafel is a favorite in Israel and it is one of my favorites as well! Baba ganoush also has many variations and is included in multiple cuisines, but I thought it the perfect pairing with the falafel.
For the baba ganoush, normally the eggplant is broiled or baked to soften it and so that the skin can be peeled off. I ended up peeling the eggplant first and then tossing with some salt and oil.
Once the eggplant was seasoned, I baked the slices so that they are nice and soft.
While the eggplant was cooking, I prepped the other ingredients that I would use for both the baba ganoush and the falafel. Chopped fresh parsley, diced red onion, tahini sauce and lemon juice.
Once the eggplant was ready, I chopped it into chunks and added them to the food processor along with some of the onions, parsley, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and a little bit of olive oil.
Once everything was well blended, I added it to a bowl and put it aside while I made the falafel.
Falafel is a dish made primarily of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans). They are basically hummus formed into balls and fried or baked. What’s not to love?
I combined the chickpeas, onions, parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in the food processor.
I put the mixture in a bowl and mixed in some flour to bind it.
When the mixture was well blended, I heated a pan with some olive oil over medium heat and formed the mixture into small rounds, about the size of golf balls and added them to the hot pan.
As they browned, I turned them so that they cooked on all sides.
All there was left to do was pack both the falafel and baba ganoush into containers and cut up some pita, and we had delicious picnic snacks!
And I had another country checked off on my list!