A beautiful mediterranean country with scant natural resources: In this setting, folks in Lebanon grew to appreciate and take full advantage of what nature provided. Eggs are a meal, often made into fritters and combined with herbs such as parsley or dill. I wanted to give our humble ‘ejjeh a more contemporary look and double its usage with the inclusion of a rice and fava bean salad flavored with some garlicky yogurt.
The result is light and fresh and the presentation fun (and not hard to achieve).
INGREDIENTS: Makes 8 crêpes
- 1/2 cup of finely minced dill (equivalent to one bunch) (dill can be substituted with parsley)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion (or shallots)
- 1 cup of water
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of sushi or Egyptian or Turkish or Italian or any medium-grain rice
- 1 cup of shelled fava beans
- 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed in a mortar with a dash of salt
- 2 cups of yogurt
- A few scallions or dill leaves blanched in water for a few seconds to soften and use to tie the crêpes
- An optional ( but highly recommended step is to fry the chopped onions in one tablespoon of olive oil until soft and translucent); if you decide to skip this, then place the onions (raw or cooked), the eggs, flour, spices, dill, olive oil and water in the bowl of a food processor, blender or mixer. Mix until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes. When ready to make the crêpes, whirl the batter a few seconds to combine all the ingredients evenly.
- Heat a crêpe pan or small skillet, spray with some oil or butter and when hot, drop about 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Swirl to cover the skillet and cook for one minute, until the edges are golden-brown. Flip the crêpe and cook 30 seconds on the other side. Remove and proceed with the others, spraying the pan each time. Set aside, laying each crêpe on a piece of wax paper.
- Make the stuffing: Soak the rice in lukewarm salted water for one hour or longer; bring the water to a boil, adding a dash of salt, the bouillon cube (if using it, don’t add salt), a tablespoon of olive oil. Lower the heat, cover and cook the rice. Cook the fava beans by boiling them for a couple of minutes and drain. When the rice is cooked, cool and transfer to a bowl. Add the fava beans and mix. Mash the garlic and mix with the yogurt and add to the rice mixture, tossing to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place a couple of tablespoons of the rice mixture in the middle of each crêpe, fold the crêpe and tie with some blanched dill sprigs or scallions. Serve at room temperature with extra yogurt on the side.