Kofta Burgers

Kofta burgers are a version of the classic spiced Lebanese kofta–highly seasoned ground lamb (beef works too!), char-grilled. Typically kofta is served in the shape of a log, pressed to a skewer to hold its shape. Don’t get scared off of these burgers thinking that “kofta” (also: kefta, also: kafta) can’t mean burger. Traditionally the…

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A Father’s Day Cookout Menu, Lebanese-Style

    The weather up north has not been ideal for cooking out, but it’ll do. Considering that I’d cook out in the dead of winter if a path is shoveled (by someone else) to the grill, a little early summer chill isn’t going to stop me. Neither is a Father’s Day without a father.…

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Fattoush salad, and poetry, in motion

It wasn’t long after I started working, after graduate school studying poetry and literature, that I started to feel the gnaw. Working was great, a paycheck was even greater. But I wasn’t writing much—just a couple of correspondences that took on terrific significance for me, or my journal, which was so stream of consciousness that…

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Technique: How to make a simple vinaigrette

Knowing how to make a simple vinaigrette is key to a great salad, every time. There is perhaps no more classic technique in a Lebanese kitchen than dressing the salata with a squeeze of the lemon and pour of the oil directly on the salad. Try as we might, none of my siblings or I…

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Ingredient: Sumac

The trifecta of Lebanese spices in my pantry includes za’atar, cinnamon, and sumac. Some versions of za’atar get citrus notes from sumac mixed with roasted thyme and sesame seeds. Sumac powder is made from pulverized dried sumac berries, and the spice has been ramping up Middle Eastern dishes, it seems, since the beginning of time.…

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Favorite Things: A little whisk

It’s true, you can use a jar. You can use a fork. Or you can skip emulsification of a vinaigrette altogether and just pour it all directly on the salad, the way my mama does. But I love the swift job a small Best brand whisk does when it comes time to dress a salad.…

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