• labneh

Labneh and zaatar breakfast

Back when I was blogging constantly, I was hearing this recurring background noise “you’ve got to be on Facebook, or Twitter”. I am now posting daily on Facebook and Instagram (several times a day) and have barely time to blog anymore!

No more whining. This is an all-traditional Lebanese breakfast and my favorite. […]

By |October 28th, 2015|Breakfast, Cheese|7 Comments
  • zaatar salad

Zaatar salad

This is the epitome of the rural, traditional salad found in all Lebanese village homes. Lebanese folks would go out to forage some wild zaatar (wild oregano, called zubayr) and get back to make a quick salad. This salad is dressed with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice or sumac (when lemons are […]

By |February 22nd, 2015|Salads|8 Comments
  • blog-Anas-chick

Chicken with zaatar and tahini sauce

I met Anas Chao first through a series of e-mails. He was a follower of this blog, and was going to be in Beirut and suggested we meet. We became fast friends and ended-up exploring the old souks of Sidon together. Anas speaks fluent Lebanese Arabic, resides in Taipei, but grew up in the Kingdom […]

By |June 1st, 2014|Salty|7 Comments
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Zaatar bites (Krass zaatar)

I have become quite fond of this Bedouin lady, Nujud, who roams the streets of Beirut with her knapsack hawking her wild herbs; I can hear her from four stories up “khobbeyzeh w zaatar!” she repeats in her direct and farm-like intonation. I hurry down and get some fresh, wild, zaatar; it is growing […]

By |February 27th, 2014|Salty|8 Comments
  • dupl-jreesh-man

Zaatar flatbread with Jreesh

Jreesh is cracked wheat. Let’s not confuse cracked wheat and bulgur; bulgur is parboiled and cracked wheat is just cracked. Both are wheat. They look similar.  A popular ingredient in baking and cooking  in the South of the country. In Beirut, some bakeries specialize in this type of  man’ooshe or flatbread, called jreesh. 

Jreesh can […]

By |December 16th, 2013|Salty|11 Comments
  • my-zaatar-mix

Making zaatar



Making one’s own zaatar spice mix is the ultimate slow-food activity in Lebanon;  I had been toying with the idea for years and wanted some pointers from local Lebanese mountain folks who could steer me away from the pitfalls. Everybody in the village forages and makes their own, of course; but this time, I was […]

By |September 19th, 2013|Salty|9 Comments
  • salatet-zaatar1

Zaatar salad (salatet zaatar akhdar)


Zaatar comes in many varieties in Lebanon; heard from a couple of sources that the total count was in excess of 133! The one above is called green (akhdar), and gets foraged and used in salads. The equivalent could be wild savory. It is pungent and good with grilled meat as well. Chef Mattar […]

By |August 16th, 2013|Salads|15 Comments
  • zaatar-rolls

Zaatar rolls


I made these and promptly ate them in a couple of days; you can use your favorite rolls recipe just add the zaatar paste before baking them. I confess to holding an advantage as zaatar is available in Lebanon from many sources; you get to pick and choose. In the US, zaatar (the mix) […]

By |July 27th, 2013|Salty|35 Comments
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Foraging wild zaatar


I followed this man, Salah.

Zaatar is having a growth spurt this time of year and I happily accepted an offer from Salah, gentleman-farmer (originally from Egypt), to show me where and how to forage wild zaatar; there are several varieties of zaatar and this one is elongated and  called dukka; folks like to eat […]

By |May 2nd, 2013|Travel & Tourism|13 Comments
  • seed-zaatar-3-copy

Zaatar with pine seeds


Someone asked me if I had tried zaatar with pine seeds. Pine seeds? I knew pine nuts; pine cones; that was about it! Turns out it was a special type of zaatar that was sold in the Barouk Forest Reserve. Had to get the story on this one. 

This is a type of zaatar sold […]

By |January 5th, 2013|Travel & Tourism|20 Comments