Okay. Ignoring the advice of our mothers and basically every after school film in the 90s, these days we meet most of our new friends via the internet. Lucky for us, instead of a big white van and candy (head's up we'll always say yes to candy), the people we meet off the web are more likely to offer us a huge mezze platter and a cute day cooking and kiki-ing in a West Hollywood apartment. At least that's what Lily and Alana did when we met them IRL for the first time in LA last week!
We've been die-hard #1 ride or die fans of Lily and Alana since we first started the blog last year and they were def inspirational for us with their authentic use of their own, real af voices on their sites and social media as well as their dope photography. Anyway, back to *us*.
If you follow along on Instagram, you probably noticed we've spent the last week or so hiking and twerking around LA. We visited all the things and ate all the good stuff like Thai yummies from Ruen Pair and Korean bbq noms from Brothers BBQ and of course breakfast at Sqirl and Gjusta (thanks to the dozens of Instagram friends who semi-aggressively told us we're dumb if we don't check them out). We also set the world record for most tacos eaten in a lifetime at a whopping one hundred million thousand and forty.
Between stuffing ourselves with food and hiking the hills to keep it off our hips, we stayed in an Airbnb with its own cute little kitchen, which served us well and gave us a place to do a very special on the road Nomcast. Sooooo when Lily and Alana asked to collaborate and cook some shit together we were like "um, duh." And then when we found out this cool Brooklyn-based tahini company, Seed & Mill, was gonna send over tons of fun tahini and halva and we would be making a whole mezze spread full of good things we were like "um, double duh."
Our contributions were a spicy baba ganoush and a pomegranate tzatziki. Lily made green tahini hummus and a little feta salad, and Alana made a big ole bowl of tabouleh. Together we all kind of threw together the dessert board which consisted of a whole bunch of different halva and figs and stone fruit! It was pretty blissful and we really wanna go back and hang with them and stuff ourselves even more but that's not in the cards for this week. Now we're bouncing between deserts and taking all the photos, so see you later (or come join us for a special Thursday night happy hour this evening from Austin, TX at 5 CST/6 EST!)!
The recipes for our spicy baba ganoush and pomegranate tzatziki are below! For Lily's cucumber feta salad and green tahini hummus, check out Kale and Caramel, and for Alana's tabouleh, check out Fix Feast Flair!
Spicy Baba Ganoush
Prep time: 10 minutes // Cook time: 45 minutes // Makes about 1 qt.
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1-3 hot peppers*
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 hand full parsley
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp pine nuts for garnish
- 1 large pinch salt
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
*Use poblano peppers for a mild kick, jalapenos for something even hotter, and if you really wanna fuck with everyone use Serrano peppers or Thai chilis like we did <3
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Use a paring knife to cut multiple slits in each eggplant.
- Place eggplants directly over a gas burner, letting the flames char the outside for 5-8 minutes, rotating as necessary for complete coverage. If you don't have a gas burner, place on baking sheet under the oven broiler on high for 10 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Place charred eggplants along with hot peppers into roasting pan and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until you can easily pierce through to the center of the eggplants with a fork.
- Remove from oven and let cool until you can comfortably handle with your hands.
- Cut the eggplants in half and scrape the insides out with a spoon. Place the innards into a food processor along with the hot peppers. You can add in some of the skin of the eggplant here for an extra smokey flavor, as long as you don't mind bits of skin in your finished baba.
- To the food processor, add the garlic, tablespoon of olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, parsley and pinch of salt and cracked pepper. Pulse until mostly smooth, though a few chunks can be kinda nice, it's up to you!
- Remove and spread into a serving dish, topping with olive oil and pine nuts. We charred a few hot peppers to throw on top of ours for an extra spicy touch.
Prep time: 10 minutes // Makes about 1 cup
- 1 1/2 cups full fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- 1/2 a large cucumber or a whole small cucumber (about 6 inches lol)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Use the coarse side of a box cheese grater to grate the cucumber. Use a paper towel or clean dish towel to pat the shaved cucumber dry by applying gentle pressure. Set aside.
- In a blender, pulse garlic and olive oil until smooth. Set aside.
- Using a cheesecloth (or a coffee filter if that's all you have because you're unprepared and staying in a stranger's unfamiliar home), strain excess liquid out of yogurt by squeezing lightly until the yogurt solids somewhat resemble the texture of cottage cheese. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your cheesecloth or coffee filters. Discard excess liquid.
- Combine yogurt solids, vinegar, and blend of garlic and oil in a bowl. Fold in the shaved cucumber and incorporate dill and about 3/4 of the pomegranate arils. This is also when you'll mix in however much salt and pepper you want.
- Top off with remaining arils to make it suuuuper pretty.