I’m always looking for recipes with eggplants (aubergines) (like this one). I was delighted to come across this recipe with rib-sticking bulgur balls in a meaty eggplant and tomato sauce. It’s vegan, but the chef, Ozlem Warren, gives the option to include ground beef in the bulgar balls if you wish. Warren is a Turkish food writer, […]
If you love Turkish food and crave its flavors at home, you’ll soon find yourself stirring up the Turkish pantry staple, spicy red pepper paste. It’s a basic flavoring ingredient for many dishes in southern Turkish cuisine. There are no tomatoes in the paste; its deep red color comes from slow-cooking red bell peppers and […]
Maimonides, referred to as the Rambam, was a philosopher, codifier of Jewish law, and a renowned doctor in 12th-century Egypt. Israelis follow his startlingly modern-sounding health advice until this day. He wrote that the best breakfast is a big, leafy salad: it clears digestion and the kidneys and purifies the blood. That’s not how I […]
What’s green and leafy and makes your biceps pop up? Spinach, of course. We have many tasty ways to eat spinach, like our Moroccan Chickpea and Spinach Soup and the elegant Roasted Tomato and Spinach Quiche. And now for another soulful and spinach-full dish: bourekas stuffed with spinach and cheese. Who can resist bourekas, those crisp, […]
You need to fix a meal, but it’s too hot to spend time in the kitchen. Let fresh tomatoes come to the rescue. Caprese salad, an Italian mix of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, is the appetizer you can put together in minutes – the snack to serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices – the […]
The summer glut of tomatoes is here. Take advantage and roast some to bake into a summery quiche. This is a deluxe quiche, one that requires time and a mindset that enjoys leisurely cooking. Roasting the tomatoes and peppers brings out their natural tart/sweetness, while spinach and caramelized onions contribute an earthy note. The quiche […]
Hot weather seems to call for cold dinners like our chilled, herbed tomato soup. But don’t wait for cooler weather to fix this savory cannellini (white kidney) bean soup. It’s packed with energizing vegetables and protein; filling, but light enough to need rounding out with salad and good bread for a satisfying dinner. If you […]
Cupcakes are one of the most versatile desserts. You can stick with traditional flavors like vanilla or chocolate or get a little creative by using fresh fruit, jams, or even a coffee infusion. Ever wanted to turn your favorite boozy cocktails into a delicious dessert that will satisfy any sweet tooth? If so, you’ve come […]
It’s July, a good month to forage. See any dandelions out there? If those bright yellow heads are popping up in a field or nearby lawn, you have the raw materials for a good home brew at hand. I once lived in Safed, a hilltop town with snowy winters; just the right climate for dandelions. From May, […]
Sometimes, when I’m scouting out the produce at the shuk, I can’t resist bringing home a big, leafy bunch of fresh Swiss chard. I imagine all kinds of wonderful dishes to make with it, but usually I give in to laziness and just sauté the white stalks in olive oil with onions and garlic, adding […]
If you love almond butter and hate paying its high price at the store, make your own! It’s easy, and takes less than half an hour. What you need are raw almonds, salt, a clean, dry jar and either a food processor or a heavy-duty blender. Then you can indulge in almond butter smeared on […]
In Cuba, guarapo is simply freshly-pressed sugar cane juice, and is drunk on the spot, without waiting for it to ferment. But in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Mexico, they homebrew guarapo from pineapples or oranges, and the fragrant fluid sits on the kitchen counter top to ferment until it’s bubbly. I learned to make guarapo de […]
Sabras – prickly pears – opuntia ficus-indica. The reddish-purple sabra fruit is ripening in empty lots and gardens all over Israel and the Levant. But you have to know how to pick them. As one who ignored the warning cries of experienced foragers and grasped a ripe sabra with my bare hand, I know. The […]
Part III in a series of 4 about cooking and healing with roses. More on eating and edible roses can be found here and here (cooking with fresh roses). Dried roses preserve the sweet, seductive perfume of the fresh flower, and there are many ways to use them. Pick up a package at a Middle […]
They’re healthy. They’re sweet. They’re pretty. They’re dense and filling, so one bite will satisfy you but never make you feel guilty about eating it. And you shouldn’t hold back from making them, either, since they’re done in a matter of minutes. Alright, enough with the fanfare (cause I’m their #1 fan): what are they? […]
You might have been introduced to the seemingly odd combination of watermelon and feta cheese through my Green Prophet recipe article here. Now, there’s a new food pairing in town: avocado and grapefruit as a salad. The bright citrus of the grapefruit perfectly complements the warm creaminess of the avocado. This colorful salad works well with seafood, and […]
Arabs eat hummous with religious fervour. And it’s true: mamma usually does best. As this Arab American in this video points out, if it comes in a plastic container, it is not hummous. Not the kind you want to eat any way. For a great laugh watch the video above. And for a great hummous recipe […]
We loved the feedback from the latest gadget for coffee lovers: a hybrid alarm clock that tells you to rise and shine by brewing a fresh cup of joe on your bedside table. I’d like to present you with a spin on that old cup of joe, in the form of a nutrient-rich, energy-boosting coffee smoothie. […]
In the Galilee’s Arab, Jewish, and Druze communities, life has a rural rhythm, slower than in big towns. You can tell that people like to stop and sniff the roses, as each garden displays roses and other lovingly tended fragrant bushes. And the old foodways are still alive in the Galilee, preserved by middle-aged housewives.
It looks like aliens took over the broccoli patch, doesn’t it? Romanesco broccoli is a unique vegetable that looks like a cauliflower gone crazy but has an intense broccoli flavor. It was first grown in Italy and is now available in more European countries, the US, and in Israel.
It’s easy to make your own butter. All it takes is double cream and some salt. The most basic equipment will do: a mixer, a pair of sturdy wooden spoons, some cheesecloth or a sieve, and a couple of bowls.
The Jewish holiday of Purim 2018 begins this coming Wednesday night, the 28th of February, and continues through Thursday the 29th. In Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities, the holiday is called Shushan Purim and occurs on Thursday night, the 1st of March, through Friday.
It’s still chilly in the Middle East – still the season for comfort food. Try driving the cold away with msemmen, a flexible, square-shaped skillet cake (the best of Middle East and North African pancakes!), easily pulled apart into layers so you can stuff it. Msemmen is similar to the Emirati Khameer bread (recipe here), […]
A year has passed since I penned a sampler of how Valentine’s Day goes down in the Middle East. Tempus fugit, baby, that treacly holiday is back in Jordan with a vengeance and I’m seeing red.
Why would anyone want to eat plants that sting? And raw nettles do sting. But nettles are a tasty, nutrient-dense food. People have been eating them since antiquity, and probably since pre-history. Their easily-metabolized iron content is so high that nettles tea is a natural remedy for anemia.