Toum, Lebanese garlic sauce

Toum garlic sauce in a dish with yellow spatula

Toum, the Lebanese garlic spread people go bonkers over, is an emulsion of garlic and oil. Here are tips based on what I’ve learned about making toum! One great discovery in all of my toum-making is that if you don’t have a food processor, just reach for your whisk. P.S., “toum” is simply the Arabic…

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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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A July Menu: Delicious Lebanese Vegan

Fried cauliflower with tahini sauce

A friend of mine told me recently about a wonderful dinner she and her husband enjoyed at the home of some friends. The friends are strict vegans, and so was the meal–which was a first for my friend. She wants to reciprocate with a vegan dinner she cooks at home and wondered what ideas I…

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Lamb shish kebab; meet me at the grill

I can think of no better summer meal than Lebanese lamb shish kebab–the grilled combination of lamb and onion is utterly mouth-watering. No marinade is needed. The key to proper grilling of the meat is to bring it to room temperature for a couple of hours before cooking. This ensures even cooking and prevents the…

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Serious Garlic Sauce, or Toum

The first time I had ever heard of toum—the crazy good, strong garlic sauce that is a ubiquitous Middle Eastern condiment for kebabs and other barbecued meats—was just a few years ago. I had recently met my friend Janet, a powerhouse food writer whose husband is Lebanese, and she asked me, don’t you just love…

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Favorite Things: Stainless Skewers

Grilling days never really end in my world. Like some of you, I will brave the cold well into the deep chill of winter to get my grilled meats. But dashing in and out in the cold temps is a far cry from where we are, thankfully, now–leisurely standing around the grill in the sun…

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