Food & drink

Beth Thomas’ show-stopping summer Mezze recipes

23 Jul 2023 | Written by Beth Thomas

MasterChef’s Beth Thomas shares her tantalising Lebanese Mezza recipes (all vegan!), so you can add these summer dips and snacks to your spread. For more further instruction on how to make the perfect falafel, baba ganoush, yogurt flatbreads (and more), see the recording from Beth’s live cooking demo…


Serves 2


  • 100g dried chickpeas

  • 100g cooked chickpeas

  • ½ tsp ground cumin

  • ½ tsp ground coriander

  • 1½ tsp Lebanese spice blend (or ½ tsp ground black pepper and ¼ tsp each of ground cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg)

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp tahini

  • 3 spring onions

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • Small bunch of coriander

  • Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • 100ml sunflower or vegetable oil, to shallow fry


  1. Soak the chickpeas in separate bowls of plenty of cold water overnight. Drain and tip on to a clean tea towel to dry.

  2. Remove ¼ of the rehydrated chickpeas and cook in simmering water for 30 minutes until soft. Drain and leave to cool.

  3. Roughly chop the herbs, spring onions, crush the garlic and zest the lemon

  4. Put all the rehydrated raw chickpeas into a food processor and whiz until smooth (be careful not to overload your processor).

  5. Add the spices, salt, spring onions, tahini and garlic and whiz again, until well combined. Finally, add the remaining cooked chickpeas, baking powder and fresh herbs and pulse until chopped and well combined, but not pureed – the mixture should still be lumpy with chickpeas. Chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes.

  6. Squeeze balls of falafel mixture in your palm to create sausage shapes about 5-6cm across

  7. Heat 5cm oil in a deep pan to 180C, then fry the falafel in batches and drain on kitchen paper.

Baba Ganoush

Serves 2


  • 2 aubergines

  • Juice of ½ lemon

  • 2 tbsp tahini

  • ½ tsp salt (to taste)

  • 1 large garlic clove

  • Small handful of mint

  • Small handful of flat leaf parsley

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds


  1. Blacken the aubergines on a gas hob or barbecue, turning regularly with tongs, until completely charred and collapsed (you may wish to surround the rings with foil, as it can be messy). If using electric or induction, char the aubergines on a dry frying pan on each side until blackened. Pop in a colander over a bowl and allow to cool.

  2. Pull away the black skin and discard. Drain any moisture from the aubergines with kitchen paper then pop no your chopping board and season with salt.

  3. Using a knife, chop up the aubergine into a chunky pulp then pour into a bowl. Grate the garlic and add to the aubergine. Next chop the herbs, reserving a few leaves for garnish, and add to the bowl

  4. Stir in the lemon juice, olive oil and tahini then taste for seasoning. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, the remaining herbs and the pomegranate seeds. Serve at room temperature.

Quick Shawarma Pickles

Serves 2


  • 250g turnip or mooli radish

  • ½ large or 1 small cooked beetroot

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 100ml white vinegar

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 tbsp white sugar

  • 300 ml water


  1. Add the salt, water and bay leaf to a saucepan and bring to a simmer

  2. Meanwhile peel the turnip/ mooli, carrot and garlic. Cut the turnip and carrot into batons.

  3. Gently drop the vegetables into the salted water, keeping the garlic clove whole, and bring back to a simmer. Add in the sugar and vinegar and turn off the heat.

  4. Once the pickle has cooled a little, pour into a sterilized glass jar or container. The pickle can be served immediately, but is even better after a couple of days. The pickles are usually good for about a month in the fridge

Yoghurt Flatbreads

Serves 2


  • 80g self raising flour

  • 70g full fat greek yoghurt

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • Pinch white sugar


  1. Add all the flatbread ingredients into a mixing bowl. Bring together with a wooden spoon until you’ve got a ball of dough.

  2. Knead on a clean work surface for a couple of minutes or just until smooth.

  3. Divide into 6 equal sized balls. Take one ball and flatten into a disc. Using a rolling pin, roll out your flatbread, rotating slightly between each roll to create a circle shape, around half cm thick. Heat your griddle until its very hot.

  4. Add one flatbread and cook until puffed up and charred, flip over and cook through. Repeat. Place your flatbreads on a plate, cover with a tin foil or a tea towel or keep in a low oven until serving.

Toum (vegan garlic sauce)


  • 3 tbsp aquafaba

  • 225g vegetable oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Add the aquafaba, garlic and the salt into a blender. Blend until everything is combined.

  2. Keep the blender running constantly and VERY slowly drizzle in the oil, making sure it is fully combined as you go. If you add it too fast, the whole thing will turn liquidy and isn’t redeemable. If you find you’re getting a bit of oil on the top, stop adding the oil and just blend for a little while before continuing. The aioli will suddenly turn thick.

  3. Once all the oil is combined and thoroughly mixed, add in the lemon juice and taste.

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