Category Archives: Gluten-free

Foraging with Um Elias

Um Elias and her husband of 50 years, Philippe, are part of a dwindling group of authentic Lebanese farmers. They married when she was 15, an acceptable age to marry off a girl in those days, and have raised six beautiful, intelligent and learned children. Even though Philippe is a sixth-generation Lebanese farmer, none of […]

Green almonds salad (Salatet al-lowz al-akhdar)

The idea for this salad came from chef and cookbook author Marlene Mattar, one of my favorite Lebanese chefs. I, of course, had to make it my own by adding other ingredients. Her salad includes red leaf lettuce, sliced green almonds, arugula and feta cheese. I added sliced sun-dried tomatoes, purslane instead of arugula, and […]

Popcorn cake

It is amazing how homesickness manifests itself by reaching out for certain foods; both my daughter and I have our popcorn cravings and she also managed to single out the best Lebanese brand for peanut butter. She was doubtful first when I told her of my idea; after all, popcorn is supposed to be a […]

Chestnut/chocolate cream (Turinois)

  This is a no-bake dessert devised by Françoise Bernard, the Goddess of French cooking in the sixties and seventies. My mother who was a die-hard francophile always had her books in the kitchen especially when the family moved to France. Françoise Bernard specialized in easy, practical, recipes for the busy housewive or working woman; […]

Buckwheat crêpe

I am spending a few days in the South of France  and the landscape around us is eerily similar to Lebanon’s. Everywhere you turn there are hills covered in greenery and then there is the seascape far away. One thing that surprised me is to find buckwheat crêpe offered in many cafés’ menus, even though […]