One of the lesser known advantages of residing in Lebanon is the fact that there is a plethora of world-class entertainment available for a fraction of the cost of similar venues in Paris or New York City. Last night, in the BeitEddine Palace’s courtyard, under a pitch-black starry sky (with the occasional bats darting about), we enjoyed virtuosity, haunting voices and hypnotic melodies of the Mohammad Reza Shajarian & Shahnaz traditional Persian ensemble; in previous years, we had enjoyed Andrea Bocelli, Elton John, Shakira, Mariah Carey and countless others.
Music is wonderful but less lofty needs have to be taken into account too.
This potato dish is my take on a classic in the Lebanese kitchen, which consists of combining bland vegetables with a spiced-up tahini sauce, known as tarator; I just mashed the potatoes instead of slicing them, a lot more fun to eat!
- 1 or more starchy potatoes
- 1/2 cup (or more, to taste) tahini paste
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed with a dash of salt in a mortar
- sumac, to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Bake the potatoes till thoroughly done; in the meantime, prepare the tarator sauce:
- Mash the garlic with a bit of salt; in a bowl, squeeze the lemon juice; add the garlic, whisking, then add the tahini: the tahini will curdle; add some water while whisking until smooth.
- When the potatoes are ready, split in half, and scrape the flesh out; mix with the sauce until smooth; scoop back up in the potatoes, sprinkle with sumac and serve.
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