Easy Figgy Baked Brie

Baked Brie on a wood board

This is a must-know appetizer, Easy Figgy Baked Brie. Make for an  elegant cocktail party or a  quiet party of a family few. Always festive, fun, delectable. And easy! We love to have an evening of cocktails and “heavy apps.” This means the food will be so sumptuous, so inviting and satisfying that no dinner…

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Za’atar Crackers

Za'atar Crackers on a sheet pan

If you love za’atar flatbread but want an easier way, Za’atar Crackers are for you! Perfect for a cheese plate or to dip in hummus, labneh, or muhummara red pepper-walnut dip. Here’s the thing about za’atar crackers: they are in essence a shortcut to the most traditional way to eat za’atar, which is man’oushe flatbread.…

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Asparagus Pickles with Grape Leaves

Aspargus pickles in weck jars

Asparagus pickles with grape leaves in the jar go extra-crisp! The grape leaves deliver tannins that impart more crunch. These are refrigerator pickles, quick and easy. So delicious for your cocktail hour or on the buffet. This recipe is as much about the humble grape leaf as it is about the grand pickled asparagus. I…

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Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip

7 layer dip Mediterranean style in a pie plate

This recipe takes the classic 7 Layer Dip and goes Mediterranean, with hummus, avocado, labneh and more. Dip your pita chip in 7 layers of Mediterranean flavors and you’ll be in 7th heaven. I’m a big fan of the idea that hummus ought to be a foundation, holding up the greatness of other toppings like…

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Garlicky Whipped Feta Dip

Whipped Feta Dip topped with spices and olive oil

Two ingredients and you’re good to go with this garlicky whipped feta dip. The flavor is addictive. Plus, it comes together very quickly and easily. My niece Victoria announced recently that we have 12 Sundays left until Christmas. Her friend Hannah said so. Since then, we’ve dropped to 11 Sundays left ‘til Christmas. I’ve always…

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Caprese Salad with Pomegranate and Mint

Caprese salad on a blue platter

Caprese salad with pomegranate and mint is a flavor explosion. The pomegranate molasses, like balsamic vinegar, lends a sweet-tart note to ripe tomatoes. I figure it was because we had such a cold and unforgiving winter last year (polar vortex, lest we’ve forgotten), but when the leaves made a full appearance last spring, I felt…

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Tabbouleh Hummus Platter

Tabbouleh Hummus Platter with blue and white platter

The Tabbouleh Hummus Platter is perfect on your grill buffet, as a side dish and a vegetarian main. Make it gluten-free using quinoa in the tabbouleh. Eat the tabbouleh hummus with thin pita bread or crisp romaine leaves. Someone asked me recently what is my favorite way to eat hummus. That’s a toughie, because I…

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Basil Dipping Oil

Basil oil in three plates on the counter

Basil oil is the jewel of the table, and a perfect use for the profusion of herbs from gardens and markets in the heart of summer. For the most part, we don’t seek out Arabic or Mediterranean restaurants all that often. I figure this is because we eat so much of our great food at…

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Avocado Tahini Dip

Avocado tahini dip with sesame seeds and crudite

Avocado tahini dip is a Lebanese-style Mediterranean classic…who knew? Probably plenty of people, but I was excited to discover this healthy-yet-rich dip just recently and add it to my regular rotation. A Lebanese friend of my brother’s told him that his Arabic—the effective if small grab-bag of words we learned growing up as second-generation descendants…

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Savory Phyllo Galette with Labneh, Tomatoes, and Olives

Savory Phyllo Galette on a sheet pan with a slice cut

This savory phyllo galette — crisp, buttery phyllo with creamy labneh, seared tomatoes, and briny olives — is gorgeous showpiece to serve as an appetizer, or as a centerpiece for a light meal along with a salad.  It’s true that when Aunt Rita told me her quick-make method for baklawa, I was a fast and…

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