Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian Food’

Fatteh – Back to Basics

October 17th, 2010 Leave a reply »

And so we’re back … with one of my all-time favorite mezza dishes. Have you ever had fatteh? Fatteh (also spelled fatte) is famous for its distinctive soft-crunchy cold-warm taste. The cold yogurt and warm cooked beans give it a creamy texture, contrasted with crunchy bread and nuts makes it a great side dish for any meal.

Estimated time: 20-30min
Servings: 4


Ingredients: 2 cans of garbanzo beans (about 900g), 2.5 cups of yogurt, 3 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon,  ½ lemon, ½ cup of water, 2 loaves of arabic/pita breads, pinch of salt, almonds & pine nuts for decoration

  1. Place 2 cans of prepared garbanzo beans in a pan. Add water to cover the beans. Boil for 10-15min until soft and drain the water
  2. In a large bowl mix the cooked beans with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  3. Toasting the bread: split 2 loaves of arabic/pita bread into two circular halves by separating the top and bottom of the “pocket”, place halves in the oven at 400F. After 15min, the bread should be brown and crispy
  4. Crush 2 garlic cloves and press ½ a lemon
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, whip 2.5 cups of yogurt with the crushed garlic, a pinch of salt, the lemon juice, and ½ cup of water
  6. In a serving bowl, place the warm beans at the bottom, then the toasted bread, then the cold yogurt mix, and finally sprinkle on top some almonds & pine nuts

Oeufs Mimosa – It’s Summertime!

June 26th, 2010 Leave a reply »

Oeufs mimosa (aka. eggs mimosa, deviled eggs) is a wonderful summer treat and a great appetizer to bring to parties. Not only does it look festive, it also tastes great.

Estimated time: 20-30min
Servings: 8

Oeufs Mimosa

Ingredients: 8 eggs, 6 tbsp of crème fraiche or sour cream, 3 tbsp of Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp of fresh chive (~20 leaves), salt & pepper

  1. Place 8 raw eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water (1 inch above eggs) and bring to boil
  2. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10-15min
  3. Drain the eggs and let them cool to room-temperature
  4. Remove the shell from the hard boiled eggs and cut them in half
  5. Carefully remove the yolks and place them in a mixing bowl
  6. Crush the yolks. Then add 6 tbsp of crème fraiche or sour cream and 3 tbsp of Dijon mustard. Mix well
  7. Add 3 tbsp of chopped fresh chive (~ 20 leaves) to the mixing bowl and sprinkle a little bit of salt & pepper. Mix well
  8. Place the halved egg whites on a platter and spoon the mixture into the whites. Refrigerate and serve cold

Have you ever had mimosa eggs?

Guacamole – A Great Dip for Grills

March 22nd, 2010 Leave a reply »

Guacamole is not a Lebanese dish, but it is one that I make to accompany Lebanese grills. As spring is just around the corner here in sunny California (and I hear on the east coast too), I have decided to showcase all of my Lebanese barbecue tips, starting with this terrific dip. Guacamole is a great accompaniment to Shish Taouk, Kafta Meshwi, Kibbeh just like Humus and Babaghanoush.Here is my famous Guacamole recipe.

Estimated time: 20min
Servings: 8 (medium-size bowl)



Ingredients: 3 ripened avocados, 2 tomatoes, ½ onion, 3 tablespoons of crème fraiche or sour cream, 1 lemon, ½ tablespoon of paprika & salt to taste. A little bit of crushed garlic - maybe 1 clove - is optional

1. If the avocados are too hard and unripe, place them in a brown bag until they become soft. Then peel & cut the avocados into small pieces. Place the avocados in a mixing bowl and mash them using a fork into a smooth purée
2. Add 3 tablespoons of crème fraiche or sour cream and mix well. You can make Guacamole with Lebne, a Lebanese cream, but the dip does not taste the same
3. Press 1 lemon and add the juice to the mixture
4. Cut 2 tomatoes and ½ onion into small dices and add to the avocado dip
5. Add ½ tablespoon of paprika as well as some salt for taste and mix well
6. Decorate with a little bit of paprika on top

The other day, I needed to make guacamole for a party but my avocados were too green and I had no time to wait until they ripened. So I used a food processor and it worked very well, except that my guacamole became a perfect purée with no chunks of avocado - which is of course the best part of a hand-made guacamole – chunks of avocado. If you use a food processor, make sure not to process the tomatoes & onion. These should be added after you have processed the avocado, the crème fraiche and lemon juice.


So, how do you usually like your guacamole dip?


Tabbouleh – The Real Deal

January 18th, 2010 Leave a reply »

Tabbouleh (also spelled tabouleh or tabouli) is the emblematic Mezza dish of Lebanon. The art of making tabbouleh lies in the way one cuts the parsley: it must be carefully sliced to produce very thin slivers. At Lebanese restaurants, tabbouleh is often served with lettuce or cabbage leaves as this is how it’s most often eaten (and with pita bread).

Contrary to popular belief, tabbouleh is NOT made out of couscous. What looks like couscous in tabbouleh is actually a different type of wheat called burghul. When you order tabbouleh at a non-Middle Eastern restaurant (mainly in Europe such as in Greece, and France), you will often be served couscous salad. You can think of authentic tabbouleh as 75% parsley, 23% onion & tomatoes and 2% burghul.

Estimated time: 40min (herbs cut by hand) or 20min (using a food processor)
Servings: 4

Ingredients: 4 cups of finely chopped Italian/flat parsley (about 2 bushes), 2 big tomatoes, 1 large onion, 2 tablespoons of burghul (No. 2), 2 lemons, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 6 leaves of fresh mint finely chopped (optional), salt & black pepper to taste

Tabbouleh Ingredients

1. After washing the parsley thoroughly, slice it as thinly as possible in strips and place it in a large bowl. Check out my trick on how to chop a large amount of parsley. Some will use a food processor to cut the parsley. This may be useful if you are planning for a big party, but it will irradicate the art of tabbouleh: some of your guests won’t see the difference, but some may!
2. Dice the tomatoes and onion into small pieces and add to the parsley.
3. In a small bowl, cover the burghul with a little bit of cold water and let it soak for 5 min. Then add the burghul to the rest of the salad and disregard the leftover water. The burghul will soak up the other juices in the salad.
3. Press 2 lemons and add the lemon juice as well as the olive oil to the salad.
4. Finally add salt and black pepper to taste, mix well and eat with pita bread or lettuce.

… and voila!


** Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the ingredients and recipes.

Fava Bean Salad – Foul Medames

January 9th, 2010 Leave a reply »

Ok, so back to blogging and back to Lebanese food!

In Lebanon, Foul Medames (aka. fava & garbanzo bean salad) is often eaten for brunch with pita bread. Although I have never been a fan of bean salads in general, I could eat this one every day. Why? Unlike other bean salads, this one is very juicy leaving your mouth wanting more with every bite!
Estimated time: 20min
Servings: 4

Ingredients: 1 can of garbanzo beans (about 400g), 1 can of fava beans (about 400-500g), 1 large onion, 1 cup of chopped Italian/flat parsley (about ½ bushel), 3 big tomatoes, 3 lemons, olive oil, salt to taste

Foul Salad Ingredients
1. Place 1 can of prepared garbanzo beans and 1 can of fava beans in a pan. Add water to cover the beans. Bring to boil and cook for 10min. Then drain and let the beans cool to room temperature. You can find garbanzo & fava beans (also called broad beans) at most supermarkets.
2. Chop the Italian/flat parsley, 3 tomatoes and 1 onion into small small pieces. To chop parsley, check out my trick.
3. Combine the beans, parsley, tomatoes and onion in a bowl. Press 3 lemons and add the juice to the mixture. Then sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil to taste – I tend to be very generous with olive oil and may add up to ½ cup.
4. Finally add salt to taste, mix well and eat with pita bread or lettuce.

… and voila!

Foul Salad

** Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the ingredients and recipes.

Fattoush – Crispy Bread Salad

October 28th, 2009 Leave a reply »

Fattoush (aka. toasted bread salad, also spelled fattush) is my favorite Lebanese salad: simple to make and simply delicious. This salad is often eaten with other Mezza dishes or as a light lunch. There are several variations to the ingredients in this salad, but I will focus on my favorite.
Estimated time: 20min
Servings: 4


Vegetables: 2 roman (cos) lettuce, 2 cucumbers, 2 tomatoes, (variations include: 1 red or green pepper, 1 large carrot, 5 radishes)
Necessities: 1 garlic clove, ¼ cup of minced Italian (flat) parsley, 8-10 leaves of fresh mint, 3 green onions
Bread & Vinaigrette: 1 large arabic/pita bread, 1-2 tbsp of sumac, ½ lemon, 3-4 tbsp of olive oil, salt to taste

1. Cut the vegetables into bite sizes and toss them into a large bowl. Mince the garlic, parsley, mint, and green onions. Add these to the bowl and mix well.

2. Lemon Vinaigrette: Combine the sumac, juice from ½ of a lemon, olive oil and salt in a jar, cover tightly, and shake to blend.

3. Toasting the bread: split 1 loaf of arabic/pita bread into two circular halves by separating the top and bottom of the “pocket”, place both halves in the oven at 400F. After 15min, the bread should be brown and crispy. Break the bread into small pieces and sprinkle them on top of the salad.

4. Before serving, add the lemon vinaigrette and voila!

In Lebanon, many like to fry the bread in vegetable oil instead of toasting it in the oven. I find toasting a healthier alternative, but frying the bread definitely gives a different taste to your Fattoush. To make the toasted bread even tastier, sprinkle a few drops of olive oil on the bread before placing it in the oven. You will see the difference.

** Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the ingredients and recipes