BOTANICA Spring Garden Mezze Recipes
Botanica Spring Garden Mezze Recipes
Inspired by recipes from our recent SVS dinner with our friends from Los Angeles’ BOTANICA, Kelly Mariani is harvesting the spring garden for crudités and making a mezze-inspired spread of dips and handmade crackers.
Botanica’s Beet Muhammara
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
1 1/4 cups raw beets, peeled and cubed
3/4 cups toasted walnuts
2 small garlic cloves
1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/4 heaping teaspoons urfa biber chile
1 1/4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
Toss everything except for the olive oil into a food processor and blend on high until incorporated. Drizzle in the olive oil until thick and emulsified. It might take awhile to break down the beet, but keep at it! Taste and season with more sea salt or another squeeze of lemon as needed (the lemon should help the flavors pop, but shouldn’t be discernible as a flavor). It’s finished when it’s a coarse but even texture, just asking for cucumbers to be dunked into it.
Top the Muhammara with a few toasted walnuts that are tossed with a little olive oil, salt, urfa biber and garlic.
Botanica’s Caraway Nigella Seed Crackers
Yield: approximately 40 crackers
6 oz AP flour
1.75 oz rye flour
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
3/4 teaspoon nigella seeds
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it comes together, then divide into two equal pieces. Wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap and let rest out at room temp for 1 hour.
Roll out each piece to a roughly 12 x 10” rectangle. Transfer the dough onto two sheet trays lined with parchment. Brush the dough generously with olive oil and sprinkle with maldon salt. Bake at 350 degrees F for 14-16 minutes, rotating halfway through. Once the crackers have cooled, roughly crack them into pieces.
Botanica’s Hummus & Marinated Beans
Yield: 2 cups hummus
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup mayocoba beans
2 garlic cloves
1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and peel reserved for another use
1/3 cup soom tahini
1/2 cup bean cooking liquid
1/4 cup olive oil
Soak the beans overnight in cold water. The next day, cook them in a court-bouillon (water, onion, garlic, herbs) and allow them to cool. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooked beans to marinate and serve on top of the hummus. In a food processor, combine the rest of the beans with the garlic, preserved lemon, and tahini and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Use the same whole beans as the hummus (chickpeas + Mayocoba). Marinate with a sprinkle of nigella seeds, minced cilantro and parsley, a little minced raw garlic, lemon zest and a little lemon juice, sea salt and the olive oil.
Botanica’s Marinated Feta
1/2 cup olive oil
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 lemon thinly sliced, seeds removed
Sheep’s milk feta
Gently warm the aromatics in the olive oil, let cool, then pour over the feta.
2 cups of raw almonds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
1 teaspoon pimentón
A few pinches of sea salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until the almonds are nicely coated. Taste the almonds to adjust seasoning. Pour everything onto a sheet tray in a single layer and roast for about 20 minutes.