Wild fresh dill (shomar) is plentiful in Lebanon this time of year. I had no excuse whatsoever not to pick a good handful (it smells like anise when rubbed slightly), and make these hotcakes. It is the traditional way in the rual areas to forage wild dill and make fritters with some added flour. I just had […]
After weeks of restrained eating prior to the Easter feast, we are finally loosening up with a simple, yet luscious lasagne stuffed with fresh steamed spinach and coated in a creamy white sauce. This is Italian-style cuisine at its finest, the way I learned to prepare it with the late Marcella Hazan as a […]
My close friend Phoebe often jokes about how sparse my house is. One time she quipped “So, did you get rid of the beds today?”. I admit I have a tendency to get rid of things, even when it is not really warranted, it just feels cleaner.
Kind of like this soup, which is a […]
This dish of small white bean fritters comes from Aleppo, Syria. It is very easy to prepare (once the beans are cooked, or canned), light, and served with a salsa I improvised. The neat thing here is once can vary the spices or herbs; just about anything goes with these white beans. The recipe […]
This salad of romaine lettuce and yogurt is served on Easter sunday in Aleppo, Syria (source: Mireille Doniguian, La Cuisine du Moyen-Orient). It needs to be prepared at the last minute, to keep the lettuce crispy.
INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings
1 Romaine lettuce, washed and dried
1 pound yogurt
1 teaspoon garlic paste (garlic mashed with salt in […]
Was it in the eighties that quiche were in vogue? I can’t pin-point the exact date, but I remember everybody being enthralled with quiches, and a slogan “real men don’t eat quiche”; or was it real men eat quiche? Anyway, now it seems we are back into depriving oneself of certain types of food, […]
The idea for this salad came from chef and cookbook author Marlene Mattar, one of my favorite Lebanese chefs. I, of course, had to make it my own by adding other ingredients. Her salad includes red leaf lettuce, sliced green almonds, arugula and feta cheese. I added sliced sun-dried tomatoes, purslane instead of arugula, […]
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. […]
The more I study Lebanese cuisine (and practice it) , the more I realize that, by and large, it is a really simple and straighforward type of cuisine.
Take this bean dish: Just beans, tomatoes and onions stewed for a while until thickened and that’s it! No mystery there.
INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings
1 lb beans, […]
This is pasta in a jiffy with only 4 ingredients. The sauce is like the Italian vodka sauce, except I replaced the vodka with arak (Lebanese national drink with a strong taste of licorice); here only a teaspoon was enough. I switched to labneh (drained yogurt) instead of cream. Happy Eid el-Futr to everyone who celebrates! […]