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Lemon tart by Alain Ducasse


I was spending a few days in Nice and in the Var region last month and  decided  to check out cookbooks in the local bookstore. Found a small one by the famed chef Alain Ducasse called L’Ecole de Cuisine-Les Essentiels. The book contains only TEN recipes which are taken out of his cooking school.  Explained in […]

By |October 5th, 2012|Sweets|28 Comments
  • salade-de-choux2

Cauliflower salad (Arnabeet w tarator)


This is the perfect salad if you are stuck with a cauliflower and not sure what to do with it. 

It only takes minutes to prepare. It tastes fantastic and you will forget you are eating cauliflower. 

 The cauliflower is just boiled or steamed till tender, cut up and covered with the sauce. 

The sauce is a […]

By |February 27th, 2012|Salads|16 Comments
  • bol-de-lentilles-rouges

Red lentil and chard soup


This soup is so easy to put together and delivers the kind of homey flavor that is the hallmark of a great winter soup.

The ingredients are thrown in the pot and left to simmer slowly; right before serving, a burst of flavor is added (garlic, olive oil and fresh lemon juice).


Recipe courtesy of […]

By |December 6th, 2011|Salty|26 Comments
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Eggplant dip (M’tabbal)


Will not speak for other expats, but this is the one dish that beckons after arrival. Something about that  lemony, silky, garlicky, smokey eggplant cream is all that one needs to feel acclimated once again.


1 large shiny eggplant, about 1 pound
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of tahini
olive oil


Char the eggplant over an open […]

By |December 2nd, 2011|Salty|37 Comments
  • tuna-hummus-2

Tuna hummus


This tuna hummus is made in minutes in the food processor; just add some tarator sauce (tahini, lemon, water and garlic) to the tuna, some pimento or Aleppo pepper, some herbs and maybe capers if you like them.

INGREDIENTS: 10 servings

2 (5-ounce) cans of tuna in water
Juice of 2 large lemons
4 to 6 […]

By |August 26th, 2011|Salty|19 Comments
  • plate-oh-hummus

Hatch green chile hummus


Hatch chiles are in season now, and some stores will even roast them and seed them to save us the trouble;  I bought a container and set out to make  hummus.

Pick hot or mild chiles depending on your preference. If you have no access to the hatch chiles (produced in the town of Hatch, […]

By |August 23rd, 2011|Salty|18 Comments
  • 2-carrot-patties-2

Carrot burger



This dish is inspired by an idea from a French-Armenian chef I admire, Sonia Ezgulian. She made the carrot burger and in the middle, shaped a patty with a cooked chicken breast mixed with fromage blanc; I made patties with kafta instead and served it with extra lemon (on the carrots) and dilled labneh […]

By |June 30th, 2011|Salty|22 Comments
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Lebanese Gaspacho


A recipe imagined by chef Ornella Hubel that I immediately wanted to try; so cool when chefs create recipes based on our Lebanese culinary heritage. Here, she used chick peas as a base for the soup. The chick peas are pureed and served gaspacho-style with pita croutons, diced tomatoes and a sprinkling of zaatar. […]

By |June 12th, 2011|Salty|32 Comments
  • ceviche-and-wine-2

Pineapple and salmon ceviche


With temperatures hovering around 95F, who wants to cook?

Here is my feeling on salmon: Either get wild salmon or you might as well eat chicken. So I don’t buy salmon often, but the store had a sign ” Copper River wild Salmon”, which proved irresistible. I mean did you check the vibrant orange-red of […]

By |May 24th, 2011|Salads|27 Comments
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Bocconcinis with strawberries salad


I have had the most wonderful experience recently: I reconnected (after decades!) with my former schoolmates from high school on Facebook. Most of us scattered and relocated all over the globe when the war in Lebanon was raging in the late seventies.

We all attended a French school in Beirut, Lycée Franco-Libanais., a school established […]

By |March 25th, 2011|Salads|15 Comments