Spring is the best time for foraging in Lebanon. The mountains are covered with an explosion of wildflowers and greens and a large number of them are even edible. Fortunately, I have a friend up in the Chouf mountains (around 3000 feet alt.) and like all her friends and neighbors, she actually knows what she is looking for. Her name is Saidé, she is married to Philippe and they both are farmers. She stopped by and took me along and we went (she with her sickle, and I with my camera) up the hills looking for an herb called hesh wmesh. This herb is close to chive or leek greens.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cups coarsely chopped leek greens or arugula or kale or any other greens
- 1 can broad beans, drained and rinsed (or chickpeas)
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or allspice
This method of cooking greens or veggies is called “in oil”, which refers to the fact that it is strictly vegan, and is suitable for Lent. Still, even when people are not fasting, the “in oil” dishes are very popular and part of most mezzes, year-round.
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, pour the oil and pan-fry the onion till golden. Add the chopped greens and pan-fry (reducing the heat) till limp. Add the spices and beans, heat a few minutes more and serve.
NOTE: You may wish to add more flavor to this dish with some mashed garlic or by squeezing a bit of lemon juice at the end of cooking.
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