Category Archives: light meal

Iranian eggplant and tomato dip (Mirza Ghassemi)

My childhood friend Constantin took me out  in Dubai to a really fancy Iranian restaurant, knowing that I love Iranian cuisine. He ordered a medley of dishes including this one called mirza ghassemi, which I had never tasted before. One bite and I was enraptured. It was light, full of tomato and garlic flavor, and […]
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Bell peppers stew (Shakshuka)

A perfect Summer dish, this (vegan) stew is a mixture of bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic, all pan-fried in olive oil. It is served at room temperature and eaten with pita bread. It is considered an appetizer (mukkabalate).  INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings 1/2 cup olive oil 3 bell peppers, one of each color or […]
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Lentil Tabbouleh (Tabboolet adass)

Enjoy this tabbouleh salad while relaxing on your Fourth of July weekend. This one has the advantage of lentils as one of the components, making it filling as well (if you add a lot of lentils as I did). Today in Lebanon, it is National Tabbouleh Day.  INGREDIENTS:  1 cup green lentils, cooked in 4 […]
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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 […]
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Zucchini hummus (M’tabbal koossa)

 I can imagine a Lebanese or Near-Eastern reader raising an eyebrow at the title of this post. In Lebanon, only chickpea-based dips (mixed with tahini) are called hummus. The reason is simple: Hummus means chickpea and the chickpea dip is actually called hummus m’tabbal, meaning seasoned chickpeas. In the US, hummus (tahini-based chickpea dip) has become […]
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