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Pistachio chicken (Fustukiyyeh)


You are unlikely to find this dish in a contemporary Middle-Eastern cookbook; the recipe goes back to the 10th century. I read about it in La cuisine de Ziryab (Ziryab’s kitchen) by Farouk Mardam-Bey. The book is a collection of essays on traditional Arab ingredients such as figs, dates, olive, bulgur, chickpeas, artichoke, fava bean or […]

By |March 26th, 2013|Salty|12 Comments
  • jewel-rice

Persian jeweled rice (Javaher polow)

A magnificent Persian  rice dish called jeweled rice (javaher polow) fit for a wedding banquet or a Thanksgiving table. This rice is studded with slivered pistachios (representing emeralds), almonds, barberries (representing rubies), slivers of sweetened orange and carrot peel and golden raisins.

I used Najmieh Batmanglij’s New Food of Life directions for preparing the ingredients […]

By |November 22nd, 2011|Salty|29 Comments
  • ma-favorite1

Braided sole with pistachio pesto


This sole does not have to be braided; it can be served as a standard fillet; it is just more fun to braid it. The pistachio pesto lends itself well to the delicate taste of the sole, but any white fish fillet will work just fine.

Making the pistachio pesto is a bit more […]

By |August 9th, 2011|Salty|15 Comments
  • choco-fingers-2

Choco sticks


Ever tried the Cadbury fingers? They are long and thin cookies shaped like a skinny finger, coated in chocolate (a childhood favorite).

These are made with some LU cookies, but any butter cookie will work. The cookies are crushed and the resulting “flour” is used in lieu of regular flour in this recipe.

These are […]

By |July 28th, 2011|Sweets|14 Comments
  • spiced-brioche1

Spiced brioche rolls

There is a very traditional sweet bread/cake in Lebanon that used to be sold in the streets of Beirut by cart vendors; this cake is called sfoof and has a very distinct bright yellow color due to turmeric in the batter.

Apparently, turmeric is a very beneficial spice and I had been looking for […]

By |July 16th, 2011|Sweets|28 Comments
  • Sweet-cappellini-21

Sweet vermicelli pasta (Sh’ariyeh be-sukkar)


In the Lebanese kitchen, capellini or vermicelli pasta is used on a daily basis to make our rice and pasta pilaf. This is a sweet version I read about in Ina’am Atalla’s Simply Lebanese. Mrs Atalla recalls how this dessert used to be her mother’s standby when people would drop by for a visit […]

By |May 20th, 2011|Sweets|25 Comments
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Raspberry and pistachio mini-cake


Do you find yourself going back again and again to the same cake recipe because it is tried and true?

That is the case here; this is an easy cake that can be varied endlessly based on whatever you wish to flavor it with; today, it is stuffed with fresh raspberries and a handful […]

By |May 15th, 2011|Sweets|26 Comments
  • ashtalieh-with-pistachios-550x424

Ashtalieh with pistachios


Do you like to end your main meal with a touch of sweetness?

I don’t really want a thick slice of cheesecake; just a little something sweet, not too sweet, just right.

Ashtalieh is a cream pudding; it comes from ashta, which is the Arabic word for cream; here, I simply added a handful […]

By |February 16th, 2011|Sweets|35 Comments
  • serving-of-halawat-al-shmeyseh-400x266

Rice paste with rosewater and ashta(shmayseh)


Most Lebanese people do not bother with making intricate Arabic-style pastries at home. I mean,  would you compete with someone who has been doing it 250 years?

I was spurred to try my hand at this by a reader from Athens; the gentleman in question must visit Beirut frequently since he mentioned getting […]

By |December 10th, 2010|Sweets|39 Comments
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Chicken loaf with cranberries and pistachios (Rosto)


This loaf is made in  traditional Lebanese homes with extra-lean  ground veal or beef and usually stuffed with carrot sticks or hard-boiled eggs. Seared in fat and simmered slowly in a vinegar sauce.

My aunt Wadad is 88 years-young; about four feet tall and eighty pounds or so, she has a commanding and blunt […]

By |October 27th, 2010|Salty|30 Comments