Lebanese Panzanella Salad

Pita chips replace the traditional Italian-style croutons in this Lebanese Panzanella salad. They soak up the precious juice we wouldn’t even consider leaving behind. The mix of lemon with rice vinegar gives the sweet tomatoes the perfect pop of tartness we love so much. Sometimes I think that the whole purpose I am here, back…

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Melon with Fresh Mint Syrup, a thank-you note

Ripe honeydew melon with a cup of fresh mint syrup and lemon wedges, on a white plate, Maureen Abood.com

Melon with fresh mint syrup makes a beautiful and delicious morning! The fresh mint syrup is a simple way to make your melon special. Add lemon or lime wedges for that all-important squeeze of tartness. My parents were always big proponents of the thank-you note. My dad would say you don’t need fancy stationery; his…

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Favorite Lebanese Recipes for Fall: preserves and dried mint

While they call the recent full moon the “harvest moon” for a reason—the harvest is full-on, right—I get the distinct sense that the canning and preserving is far from full-on. It’s more like pulling the last of whatever we can into the sugar, the freezer, the vinegar brine. I know that for me, once I…

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Lebanese Cucumber & Tomato Salad with Mint

Cucumber Tomato Salad, Maureen Abood.com

One of the best things about cucumber and tomato salad with mint is the juice that waits in the bottom of the bowl, ready to be sopped up with thin pita or flatbread. Make the salad an hour or so in advance to let the flavors meld. There are many great Lebanese recipes for salads,…

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Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream, and a melting moment

The mint flavor in Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream depends on how much mint, or na’na, is used to infuse the milk and cream. It will seem like a ton of mint leaves, but that is necessary for full flavor. I have no hesitation about using a touch of green food coloring to go green…

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Pink Deviled Eggs (laban & mint), for Mrs. Smith

Whenever there are cars in the driveway across the way here on Main Street, more than one car, I start to get worried. Mrs. Smith hasn’t been feeling well, not so surprising at her age, and she keeps quiet over there. She stays home most of the time, venturing out to go to the doctor…

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Technique: How to dry mint

Dried mint, or na’na, is an important flavor component in Lebanese cooking. It’s often combined with fresh mint to intensify the mint flavor—in a good way, not in a menthol way. Drying mint is a great opportunity to preserve an abundance from the garden, and it will remind you when you use it in the…

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Ingredient: Mint, or Na’na

Na’na (pronounced NAH-nuh), or spearmint, is an herb used in lots of savory ways in Lebanese cooking—we’ll be using it later this week in an absolutely delicious Lebanese salad. You can find mint at the farmer’s market now and in the grocery store throughout the year. Don’t worry about whether or not the mint you’re…

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