Some Middle Eastern recipes are baba ghanoush and hummus. Both are blended spreads that are simple to make and include ingredients such as lemon juice, garlic and tahini sesame seed paste. Recipes for both are available at PBS.org.
Baba ghanoush is a roasted eggplant dip served with pita bread, crackers or as a spread on sandwiches. To make baba ghanoush, slice one large eggplant into 1-inch cubes, lay the cubes on a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with salt, and let them sit for an hour with more paper towels on top. After an hour, squeeze out any more excess liquid from the cubes, transfer to a greased pan, and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
Transfer the roasted eggplant to a food processor and blend with 2 tablespoons of tahini, the juice of two lemons, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and 1 teaspoon of garlic. Process until a smooth but slightly chunky consistency is reached. Season with salt to taste and serve with pita bread or crackers.
Hummus is a simple garbanzo bean-based puree also commonly served with pita bread. In a food processor, blend one 15.5-ounce can of garbanzo beans with 2 to 3 tablespoons of tahini, 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add water to the puree until the desired consistency is reached.