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Fava beans in yogurt sauce (Ful bel-laban)

This is a popular stew made especially in the Spring season when fava beans are freshly picked and offered on the side of the road going to the mountains or in the city’s greengrocers.  A vegetarian version can be prepared by simply omitting adding the meat (and stock) to the stew and replacing them […]

By |April 29th, 2014|Salty|16 Comments
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Fava beans in the stalks with cilantro sauce (Ful akhdar ‘ateh)


Fava beans, pronounced fool in this part of the world, are a much beloved vegetable. They are made into a delicious salad when still young (and their pods still tiny), using the entire stalk. They are stir-fried in a garlic and herb sauce, smothered in olive oil, then boiled till tender. The stalks turn […]

By |April 9th, 2014|Salty|10 Comments
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Lentil stew Damascus-style (Harak Osba’o)

The name of this dish, harak osba’o, literally means “he burnt his finger” ; in other words, it was so irresistible, he (or she) could not wait for it to cool. In American terms, finger-licking good!  There are several dishes bearing that name in both Lebanese and Syrian cuisine but this one really deserves it. […]

By |March 10th, 2014|Salty|14 Comments
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Green tea and broccoli soup


My mother subscribes to a French magazine, Femme Actuelle, which is always full of recipes. This is where I plucked the idea of making a broccoli soup with some green tea. Why not? Just substitute the chicken broth for the steeped green tea (minus the leaves) and that’s it!

INGREDIENTS: 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds (or […]

By |March 23rd, 2012|Salty|19 Comments
  • kibbeh-blabnieh

Kibbeh in yogurt sauce


One major difference between, say, French or Italian or Greek cuisine  and Middle-Eastern cuisine  lies in the widespread use of yogurt in cooking. In traditional Lebanese cooking, béchamel or white sauce is not used, period. Yogurt from cow milk or goat milk is used in hundreds of dishes. To add some kick, a pesto […]

By |January 26th, 2012|Salty|21 Comments
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Red lentil fritters


The challenge with these fritters is to infuse them with flavor as they tend to be bland on their own; so go ahead and add all the spices that your little heart desires and you will be rewarded with a delicious appetizer. Squeeze some citrus juice on the fritters before inhaling them, it will […]

By |June 22nd, 2011|Salty|21 Comments
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Taro fries with cilantro pesto


This dish is based  on a popular mezze item on the Lebanese table called batata harra or spiced potatoes. In this plate, cubed potatoes are fried and coated in a cilantro, garlic and chile pesto and served lukewarm with quartered lemons.

I figured I would do the same here, except I cooked the […]

By |June 10th, 2011|Salty|23 Comments
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Spring rolls


My first years living in the US as a Lebanese immigrant would get people curious about my origin and the country I was from; I would explain that I was from Asia. This would immediately elicit a puzzled look: “Asia?

“Yes”, I would continue, “Lebanon is in Asia”. Finally I stopped saying I was […]

By |May 9th, 2011|Salty|29 Comments
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Potato Kafta

This potato kafta is a delicious twist on the usual kafta: The potatoes are boiled then mixed with the meat and flavored with a garlicky cilantro pesto.
The kaftas are shaped like burgers and can be pan-fried, grilled or baked with a slice of onion and tomato on top.


1 pound of lean (95%) ground beef […]

By |May 1st, 2011|Salty|38 Comments
  • Artichoke-bottoms-with-pasta-and-shrimps-550x387

Artichoke bottoms with pasta and shrimp


This dish (concocted at the spur of the moment) reminded me of a conversation I had with a foodie friend in Beirut; we were discussing artichokes and that exquisite Lebanese dish of stuffed artichoke bottoms with minced lamb and yogurt; I mentioned I used frozen bottoms imported from Egypt. His reaction was: “What? You […]

By |April 26th, 2011|Salty|39 Comments