Ingredient: Eggplant

The deep purple hue and voluptuous shape of eggplant put it in the upper echelons of truly gorgeous produce. Of course, this time of year, there’s plenty of competition everywhere you turn at the farmer’s market. But purple is the color of royalty, and the Lebanese bow down to the eggplant accordingly, making it the…

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Postcard from Up North

“This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow again and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen magically along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn.” – Bernard DeVoto, “The Hour” (The violet hour,…

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Tabbouleh Lebanese Salad (Tabouli)

Tabbouleh salad with fresh herbs and bulgur

Tabbouleh makes me shake-shake my bootie Tabbouleh is a Lebanese chopped herb salad of parsley, mint, tomatoes, onion, and just a touch of bulgur wheat (which can be substituted with cooked quinoa). A perfect salad with grilled meats, and also delicious on its own with a dollop of hummus! The backyard garden where I grew…

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Why three times? How to prep parsley for tabbouleh.

My brother has a good friend he met in medical school who came from a big, wonderful East coast Italian family. The Italian father ruled the roost not unlike my own: with a firmness that is known in our family to inspire “fear of father.” As in, “that kid needs a little fear of father…

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Ingredient: Cracked wheat, or bulghur

When I was in cooking school, we spent a multi-week session on grains. Our chef instructor, Frances, has a love affair with grains (as she does, not surprisingly, with ingredients of all kinds) that’s contagious, and her enthusiasm got me thinking. Mostly about the dearth of grains in my diet, and how I was going…

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Postcard from Up North

Greetings from the Cherry Capital of the world. They taste as good as they look, right from a bag you buy at a roadside stand. Or right off the tree, if you are a bold forager on someone else’s property.

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Technique: How to thicken yogurt for Labne

In Lebanese cuisine, labne is a thick yogurt spread served drizzled with olive oil as part of maza (many small plates) and used as a condiment with savory dishes. My Sitto ate her own labne every single morning, spread with the back of her spoon on two slices of buttered toast. She wasn’t so concerned…

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Pickled Turnips, and an introduction to Aunt Hilda

One of the first recipes posted here, Lebanese turnip pickles, or lift, are always on the table as a piquant addition to Lebanese breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Lebanese turnip pickles are very simple to make and can be adjusted to suit your taste–spicy, garlicky, or not! The Abood sisters, my aunts, had talents. Helen sang…

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Lebanese Stuffed Koosa

Lebanese Stuffed Koosa topped with labneh

Stuffed Koosa. Are you a Koosa? Lebanese Stuffed Koosa is a traditional dish of light green summer squash stuffed with a meat and rice mixture, cooked in deeply savory tomato broth. Can’t find koosa? That’s just fine; use zucchini or yellow squash for delicious results. Many of us at some point or another have called…

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