Monthly Archives: May 2012

  • Koussa-treeda

Zucchini and pita hash (Treedeh)


Zucchini (called koossa) is such a beloved vegetable in these parts that it has given rise to many dishes, some elaborate, some simple and rustic like this treedeh.

In this treedeh, the pulp of the zucchini alone is used (after coring them for stuffing purposes). I say use the entire zucchini if you don’t feel […]

By |May 31st, 2012|Salty|15 Comments
  • Kaak-au-zaatar

Zaatar kaak


What goes by kaak is usually either a dry bread or roll or a biscuit, more often than not covered with sesame seeds. This kaak includes some zaatar in the batter and is savory and can be made in a jiffy in a mixer or processor. Perfect for something to nibble on with a […]

By |May 27th, 2012|Salty|32 Comments
  • akkoub-and-rice1

Tumbleweed stew (Yakhnet akkoub)


This delicious stew is one of the traditional dishes made with this wild vegetable; my grandmother used to prepare it this way and so do lots of folks here. Just sauté the akkoub (tumbleweed)  in some olive oil with plenty of chopped onions and garlic, cook the stew meat separately, then mix the two and […]

By |May 23rd, 2012|Salty|11 Comments
  • gundelia-550x366

Gundelia (Akkoub)


Pluck its thorny leaves and this is indeed akkoub, a prized (by many) wild vegetable; also known as tumbleweed, cardon (French), or gundelia. Apparently this wild vegetable’s recent claim to fame is that its grains were identified by researchers on the shroud of Turin. 

I got three recipes from local mountain folks; one way is […]

By |May 22nd, 2012|Tips|7 Comments
  • wild-veggie

Wild vegetable


Plucked at high altitude (over 3000 feet) in the Shouf mountains in Lebanon, this vegetable is wild and highly prized for its exquisite taste. (it is also supposed to be full of antioxidants)

Anybody care to guess or know its name?

The answer (and a recipe) will be given in the next couple of days.

By |May 21st, 2012|Tips|11 Comments
  • fresh-chick-peas

Fresh chickpeas


This is a bunch of fresh chickpeas sold everywhere these days on the side of the road. Street cart vendors used to call on customers with a jingle that went like this:

Um Elaibaneh (Mother elaibaneh)

Khodra w-malieaneh (green and full)

bet salleh al-za3laneh(will cheer up whoever is angry)

btejoueh al-dekkaneh(will mess up the store)

You will find these […]

By |May 19th, 2012|Salty|15 Comments
  • awarma

Lamb confit (Awarma)


Awarma is the word used to indicate bits of lamb preserved in lamb fat; it is usually prepared in rural areas and the jars are used up throughout the year to flavor one dish or another; the fat used is from the lamb tail and that variety of lamb  (fat-tailed sheep) is not raised […]

By |May 18th, 2012|Salty, Tips|22 Comments
  • pointing-to-Tawlet-Ammiq

Tawlet Ammiq


Last Sunday was the grand opening of Tawlet Ammiq, Kamal Mouzawak’s latest venture. 

The restaurant is located in the Bekaa Valley, nudged between the village of Ammiq and a mountain range with a bird’s eye view of the valley beyond. The restaurant and village of Ammiq sit on a natural reserve (UN protected site).  It […]

By |May 16th, 2012|Reviews|13 Comments
  • plate-of-rice-and-fava1

Rice and fava beans


The fava beans have been ubiquitous lately; every street vendor, every greengrocer, is carrying mounds of freshly picked fava beans. Some are large (stalks are about 7 inches long) and get plucked open, seeds eaten and pods discarded; others are tiny (about 3 to 4 inches long) and get cooked whole pods and seeds, […]

By |May 13th, 2012|Salty|20 Comments
  • meat-with-cherries

Meat fingers with sour cherry sauce (Fishneyov khorovatz)


A dish that is listed in Armenian cuisine and that I had sampled a couple of times and liked very much. I saw some tiny cherries at the greengrocer and figured “now or never!”. In the book, sour cherries are  used and made into a compote. Since getting wild sour cherries that grow in […]

By |May 9th, 2012|Salty|23 Comments