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fried cauliflower with tahini dressing mezze

It is rather hard to imagine that a recipe with such simple ingredients can make a beautiful levantine dish that just tastes so good. But it actually does! And once you have your first bite of this mouthwatering mezze plate, you won’t be able to stop.

This vegetarian dish can be enjoyed as a snack on its own or as part of a beautiful palate of levantine mezzes. Serve it with some lebanese arabic bread and let the taste take you elsewhere! Enjoy!

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levantine za’atar bites

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For those familiar with this traditional Levantine speciality, it is well known that these bites come in different sizes and can be prepared using different types of doughs and za’atar mixtures depending on regional and even personal taste preferences. But this beautiful treat will rarely disappoint you.

The recipe I’m sharing today in this post will yield in beautiful little za’atar bites that are incredibly crunchy and delicious and which will literally melt in your mouth. The dough is amazing and versatile (more recipes to follow soon), and can be prepared in no time (well almost, we are talking doughs here;)). I have no doubt that once you try this recipe, you would want to make it every time.

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spinach and pumpkin salad

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Yummy, healthy and seasonal, this spinach and pumpkin salad is a food that you would want to try soon. So easy to make, this comforting salad will leave you satisfied, till you want more 🙂 Make the best out of this beautiful season produce and try it soon. And let me know what you think.
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God knows, I love soup! And the fact that I live in a country where it is rarely cold never stops me from enjoying a nice bowl of hot soup (thanks to A/C on the inside I can always pretend it is cold on the outside).

And now, with the different kinds of pumpkin starting pile up in the markets, I can hardly resist making another creamy pumpkin soup.

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tomato, zucchini and yogurt for three vegetarian mezze dishes

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Rich in some of my childhood flavours, these three vegetarian mezze dishes are incredibly easy to prepare and represent an authentic taste of the Levantine cuisine. And they can be eaten on their own or served with some fresh lebanese pita bread.

So next time you plan a get together, make sure to include these three beautiful vegetarian dishes in your menu.

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muhammarah: bell pepper and walnut dip, a true levantine taste

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A pure Levantine treat, Muhammarah is yet another celebration of the magical world of walnuts. And besides being a perfect vegetarian choice, its rich flavours and texture make Muhammarah extremely hard to resist. So my guessing is, once you try it, you would always want to serve this delightful mezzé on top of your food menu next time, and every time, you have guests.

With the right ingredients, muhammarah is extremely easy to prepare yet so impressive serve. Make it in advance and keep it refrigerated till served sprinkled with good quality olive oil and pomegranate arils.

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the heavenly food of pomegranate jewelled aubergine mutabbal

 

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Mutabbal is one of my all-time favourite food, and when well prepared, I will have it anytime, anywhere…and all the time! An incarnation of simplicity yet richness, aubergine mutabbal is fresh, healthy, and needless to say, yummy.

You can prepare this mezze dish one day ahead, and thus save time for the preparation of other food, if any, on the actual day of serving it. As well, you would need to taste the aubergine to make sure it is not too bitter for food preparation. And while you may come across different ways and ingredients used in the preparation of this beautiful levantine mezze treat (different recipe here), mutabbal will always contain its one and only main ingredient, aubergine.

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For the Recipe

Ingredients

mutabbal:
1 medium to large eggplant, roasted
1/3 cup yogurt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup chopped parsley
salt & pepper to taste

topping:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup chopped sparsely

  • Start by cutting the roasted aubergine into halves or quarters and then removing the skin using a knife. Move the aubergine onto a chopping board and chop it roughly (you can process the aubergine in a food processor, though not too much. But I personally love the bulky texture created by chopping the aubergine rather than processing it). Once chopped, move the aubergine onto a sieve and allow it to drain for about 15 minutes in order to get rid of the maximum amount of its juice.
  • Meanwhile, mix the yogurt, tahini, and lemon juice in a small bowl, till you get a smooth paste.
  • Move the chopped aubergine into a medium bowl. Add the yogurt and tahini sauce, crushed garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Then mix all the ingredients till well combined. Keep it refrigerated, up to one day, till serving it.
  • To serve the mutabbal, move it onto a serving bowl or relatively deep plate. Sprinkle with olive oil, chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

Bon Appétit!

c for carrot & coriander salad

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This incredibly simple yet yummy salad will be on my daily salad menu very often as it is a pure version of freshness and deliciousness. Of two distinctive tastes, this sweet (carrot) and sour (lemon) salad is very easy to prepare and can be ready in no time, almost 🙂
Recipe

Ingredients

about 300 g carrots, peeled & shredded
a generous handful of green coriander leaves, roughly chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice, according to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, according to taste

Mix the ingredients in a medium bowl, then serve immediately. Enjoy!

Bon Appétit!

forget about calories…let’s talk cheese!

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A very important staple in the cuisine of many nations around the world, cheese most probably is as old as history. It most probably came as a result of the man’s desire to preserve milk for long periods of time even if in a form different from its original liquid one.

And there are hundreds of different kinds of cheese (with different shape, texture, flavours) around the world. For it not only differs from one country, region or land to another, but cheese various kinds depend on the milk, mold, and fat used (among other factors) in the making of cheese. And the techniques applied in the processing, production, aging, and fermenting of the cheese all result in endless kinds of cheese.

Cheese is simply amazing in so many ways, and mostly because it is delicious and can easily be turned into a comfort food!

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Among many many other cheeses produced in le pays de fromages, and originating in Normandy (in northern France), Camembert is a delicious cheese that is rather creamy and salty, and rich in flavour.

Dedicated to all the cheese lovers out there, this melted Camembert recipe looks sophisticated even though it is a very easy way to prepare and serve cheese in a most impressive fashion.

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Recipe

Ingredients

1 camembert cheese packed in its wooden case
a few green thyme springs
2 garlic cloves
sliced country bread, or any bread of your choice

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Unpack the camembert cheese by removing its plastic wrap and put the cheese back in its wooden case, uncovered.
Chop the thyme springs and one garlic cloves and use them to flavour the cheese.
with a sharp knife cut small cuts onto the top of the cheese and fill with themy springs and garlic. Wrap an oven-proof ribbon around the wooden case to prevent it from breaking open while cheese is baking (optional). Place the cheese on a baking tray covered with baking paper
Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, it really depends on how ripe your cheese is.
meanwhile, toast the bread slices and wrap them with one garlic clove.                              Once the cheese is melted on the inside (it becomes really soft to the finger touch/ it gives to the finger pressure), remove from oven and serve right away with the garlic breads.

Bon Appétit!

petit peas soup

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Soup! Who does not love soup! Other than my kids, that is 🙂 Well, unfortunately it is true and they are not all that crazy about soups. But when not left with much other choice, my little ones might tolerate having some soup for dinner. But I do (if that is of any importance to you :)). And I intend to share soup recipes more often, now that the beautiful weather in Dubai makes us fancy more and more soups.

Inspired from the Portuguese cuisine, this most delicious soup is quite simple and straight forward to prepare (with one main ingredient, I can’t see where this soup can go wrong). And, it is elegant and can make for a perfect entrée to a beautiful dinner. The soup is ideally served with garlic and coriander bread, but served on its own, it would make for a beautiful and rich gluten-free dish.

For the Recipe

Ingredients

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 celery stalk, trimmed & chopped
500 g frozen peas, thawed
salt & pepper, according to taste
3 cups water

a generous handful of fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tsp butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, shredded
some baguette bread slices to be served with the soup (optional)

Heat olive oil and melt the butter in medium pan. Sauté chopped onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic then celery and cook for about 2-3 minutes further. Add the peas. Sauté for about 7 – 10 minutes over low heat, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the water onto the pan increasing the cooking heat and bring to a boil. Then lower heat and cook for about 15 minutes.
Using a hand held food blender, process the pea soup till it turns into a beautiful smooth and consistent soup.
Prepare the bread slices by toasting them (optional), then spreading them with some butter and a light sprinkle of garlic and coriander.
Divide the soup among the serving bowls, sprinkle with some chopped coriander leaves and serve along with the garlic and coriander bread.
Bon Appétit!