• Blog-white-bean-fritters

White bean fritters (Ejjet al-fassoolia al-habb)


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 […]

By |May 12th, 2014|Salty|8 Comments
  • blog-romaine-salade

Easter salad from Syria


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 […]

By |April 20th, 2014|Salads|4 Comments
  • fg-quiche-aux-champ


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, […]

By |April 16th, 2014|Salty|10 Comments
  • tob-almo-salad

Green almonds salad (Salatet al-lowz al-akhdar)


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, […]

By |April 7th, 2014|Salads|14 Comments
  • blog-harak-osba3o

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|12 Comments
  • dupli-beans-tomato-sauce

Beans in tomato sauce

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, […]

By |October 30th, 2013|Salty|10 Comments
  • penne-with-labneh-sauce

Penne with labneh tomato sauce


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! […]

By |August 8th, 2013|Salty|11 Comments
  • zucchini-flowers

Stuffed zucchini flowers

Even though these flowers are not used here in Lebanon (wonder why), I could not bear dumping them. They are easier to stuff than, say, grape leaves. I dipped them in a quick batter after stuffing them and fried them for a few minutes. 

I discovered that in Turkey, these flowers get stuffed just like […]

By |June 29th, 2013|Salty|17 Comments
  • Cauliflower-fritters-with-bread

Cauliflower fritters


I found this recipe in a cookbook I bought recently while in Kurdistan (Iraq); the cookbook was in Arabic and featured the recipes of a very popular TV cooking chef personality in the Arab world, Mrs Manal el-Alem. It took reading a few recipes until I realized the book had been pirated because none […]

By |April 17th, 2013|Salty|26 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