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Mezze Cake

Mezze Cake

Co-authors of "Bosh," Henry Firth and Ian Theasby is making a tasty vegetable cake that serves 8.
Ingredients for Cake
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 zucchini
  • olive oil
  • 1 thin flatbread (under ¼ inch)
  • 1¼ cups hummus
  • 2–3 tbsp sriracha
  • 18–20 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 7 tbsp olive tapenade
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 7 roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 8 artichokes from a jar
  • 7 tbsp baba ganoush
Ingredients for the Falafel Mix
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • ²⁄3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1½–2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½–2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F | Baking sheet drizzled with olive oil | 8-inch springform pan | Food processor | Grill pan

Cut off the stem ends of the eggplants and cut the flesh into slices about ¼ inch thick | Trim the zucchini and cut them into ¼-inch-thick slices | Set aside three of the nicest looking slices of each (choose ones
that are roughly the same size) | Spread the rest over the greased baking sheet and drizzle them with a bit more oil | Rub the oil into the slices | Put the pan into the hot oven and roast for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft | Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool

Next, place the flatbread on a cutting board and lay the springform pan on top of it | Cut around the pan with a sharp knife to make a flatbread round that will fit inside the bottom of it | Put the flatbread inside the pan and spread it with a ¹⁄3-inch layer of hummus | Drizzle a tablespoon of chili sauce over the top of the hummus

You’re now going to layer up the ingredients inside the pan to build up your mezze cake | First place a flat ring of sun-dried tomatoes all around the edge of the pan | Then, inside the ring of tomatoes, build another ring of roasted zucchini slices, placing one in the center if there is space | Fill in any gaps between the slices with spoonfuls of the olive tapenade

Next, spoon a layer of the cooked rice over the vegetables so that it is about ¼ inch deep all over and press it down firmly with the back of the spoon to get it nice and firm and even all over | Place a layer of the roasted eggplant and zucchini slices over the top of the rice layer and fill the gaps with more blobs of the olive tapenade | Once again, press down all over the top of the cake with a spoon to keep it all nice and compact (this step is important as it will hold the cake together when it cooks and ensure you get immaculate slices)

Cut the roasted peppers into ¾-inch strips and arrange them in a star shape over the top of the cake and fill the spaces in between the star with pieces of artichoke | Firm everything down again with the back of a spoon | Arrange more of the roasted zucchini around the edge of the pan and place some sun-dried tomatoes in the space in the middle | Fill in the gaps with spoonfuls of the baba ganoush

Next prepare the falafel topping | Drain the chickpeas and tip them into the food processor | Peel the onion and roughly chop it, then add it to the chickpeas | Throw in the fresh parsley and cilantro leaves, the garlic powder, the ground cumin, ground coriander, and the harissa paste |Spoon the flour into the food processor with the tablespoon of olive oil and pinch of salt | Whizz everything together until you have a thick paste| Spoon the falafel mixture all over the top of the cake and smooth it out using the back of the spoon or a frosting spatula as if you were icing a cake, until you have an even ¹⁄3-inch layer

Put the cake in the hot oven and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the falafel on the top has hardened and everything is cooked through

While the cake is cooking, set the grill pan over medium-high heat and drizzle it with some olive oil | Heat the oil until it’s really hot | Put the reserved slices of eggplant and zucchini into the hot pan and cook them on one side until they have defined char lines and are softened, then flip them over to cook the other side (try not to move them around too much in the pan as we want to make nice neat black grill marks); the eggplant will take around 5 minutes per side and the zucchini will take about 3–4 minutes per side | Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the slices to a plate

When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven | To finish and decorate it, spoon the remaining hummus on top and spread it out neatly until you have a ¼–¹⁄3-inch layer all over the top of the cake | Now make it look pretty by decorating it with the grilled eggplant and zucchini slices and then drizzling it all over the top with the rest of the chili sauce | Finally, scatter over the fresh cilantro leaves

Carefully release the cake from the pan and reveal your masterpiece |You’ll need to use a very sharp knife to slice the cake and serve it immediately | If the knife gets caught at any point, a sharp pair of
scissors can help you to cut it more neatly | Make sure the flatbread at the bottom is completely cut through before you remove the slice so that everything comes out in one perfect tidy piece!

Recipe Courtesy Henry Firth & Ian Theasby from their book “BOSH: Simple Recipes, Amazing Food, All Plants”

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