• keshek-betanjan1

Iranian eggplant dip (Kashk-e bademjan)

I had this eggplant dish in Dallas once, made by a Persian friend of my Irish neighbor’s, and loved it;  there are a ton of Persian restaurants in So. California, a handful in Dallas, yet I have not seen a single one in Beirut. In any case, when an Iranian exhibit opened here last […]

By |November 4th, 2013|Salty|14 Comments
  • bulgur-pilaf-with-eggplant1

Bulgur pilaf (Shelbato)

This dish caught my eye in Chef Mattar’s latest book Maedat Marlene min Halab in which she reports on dishes she tasted while visiting Aleppo, Syria. How lucky for us. This one she titled traveling jew (Yehudi musafer), with the caption that it was an ancient dish. She adds ground meat to the pilaf, […]

By |August 11th, 2013|Salty|10 Comments
  • Eggplant-and-meat-stew-from-Aleppo

Eggplant and ground meat sauce (Batersh)

I first got wind of this dish on Kano’s blog and was immediately interested; the idea to top eggplant dip with a thick ground meat and tomato sauce sounded delicious; it is apparently a specialty of the city of Hama in Syria. I’d like in passing to send many prayers to the innocent people […]

By |May 22nd, 2013|Salty|21 Comments
  • plate-of-zahlouk1

Eggplant, Morroccan-style (Zahlouk)

I know little of the foods of North Africa, so when I saw Chef Zouhair Zairi’s new book Moorish Fusion Cuisine, I was instantly interested. His book is filled with mouthwatering dishes (around 70) all made with the best and the rarest of ingredients (such as 50-year old Balsamic vinegar and Argan oil). Chef […]

By |March 21st, 2013|Salty|8 Comments
  • treedet-el-betenjane1

Eggplant salad (Treedet al-beitenjane)

If I had been told that eggplant would be my favorite vegetable as a grown-up I would have been in total disbelief; eggplant? That same eggplant I used to hide in my apron so I would not have to eat it? (nun school, we were forced to eat everything).  Well, here is the ubiquitous […]

By |February 14th, 2013|Salty|19 Comments
  • eggplant-fritters-copy

Eggplant fritters and dip


Once in a while, it is great to indulge. Eggplant is the one veggie that really gets enhanced by an oil bath. Crunchy crispy on the outside and silky smooth on the inside and dipped in a creamy yogurt and tahini dip. Why not? 

Happy holidays!

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

1 lb eggplant 
Batter: 3/4 cup of flour, 1/2 […]

By |December 26th, 2012|Salty|11 Comments
  • pasta-with-eggplant-sauce

Pasta a la gypsy

This crop of eggplants just won’t quit. A pasta dish was in order. This one was inspired by a recipe in an  ELLE cookbook  for an eggplant gratin called la Bohémienne (the gypsy). The recipe called for eggplants, tomatoes, onions and anchovies. Add whole-wheat penne in the mix and you’ve got dinner covered. INGREDIENTS: […]

By |November 9th, 2012|Salty|14 Comments
  • single-serving-fatte-3

Eggplant casserole (Fattet betenjan)


Hardly any dish in the Middle-East is more finger-licking or easier to prepare. Layer a food with fried pita croutons and a  yogurt sauce flavored with tahini and a touch of garlic; oh, and a sprinkling of butter-fried nuts to top it off.

Above is a diet version of the eggplant fatteh which is poor […]

By |October 24th, 2012|Salty|12 Comments
  • eggplant-peppers-salad-4

Eggplant and peppers salad


This salad is easy to prepare; I had a big eggplant (the last ones in the season) and needed to do something. If you have a gas grill you can use it to blacken the eggplant (just lay it over the heat diffuser), or throw the eggplant (skin and all) in your oven to […]

By |September 30th, 2012|Salads|17 Comments
  • fattet-al-makdous

Eggplant with yogurt sauce (Fattet al-Makdoos)


In what city in the world can you get this meal delivered to your door? That is what happened today when I called my caterer/friend/neighbor, Rima @RimRam Gourmet and asked her to help me out. 

Rima, whose is a true Beiruti, specializes in many traditional dishes and cooks herself once a month at Tawlet, Kamal […]

By |March 28th, 2012|Salty|27 Comments