Near and Middle Eastern

Array

Menu for the week of Mar 23: Mediterranean early spring

Sat: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/joses-basque-tuna-stew">Jose Andres' Basque Tuna Stew w/ steamed artichokes
Sun: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/neapolitan-pizza
Mon: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/caramelized-garlic-quiche">Caramelized Garlic Quiche w/ salad
Tue: Leftover tuna stew w/ baguette, asparagus
Wed: antipasto dinner (leftover quiche, cured meats, cheeses w/ ficelli or leftover baguette)
Thus: Order in and support a local restaurant!
Fri: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/shrimp-saganaki">Shrimp Saganaki

Tuna Stew

Menu for the week of Jan 26 (Mediterranean)

Sat: Brick Chicken [make extra for grain bowls] w/ green salad and Yogurt Dips
Make Kofta (Mediterranean Meatballs)
Sun: Persian Herb and Leek Frittata Recipe w/ green salad, Mujadara Recipe
Mon: Shrimp Saganaki w/ green veg
Tue: Kofta (Mediterranean Meatballs) w/ pita, yogurt sauce, green veg
Wed: One-Skillet Roasted Butternut Squash with Spiced Chickpeas Recipe pluck parsley, make dressing?
Thus: Leftover chicken w/ Moroccan Carrot Salad
Fri: Eat all the leftovers (shrimp, frittata, carrot salad, green beans)

Fattoush Salad

The fattoush salad has always been one of my favorite salads. It is a lettuce-less salad and has bread in it -- what's not to like! But fattoush salads are the kind of dish where everyone's grandmother makes it differently. This recipe is the closest I've found to my ideal fattoush salad.

Ingredients

1 whole wheat pita bread
[roughly equal parts cucumber, tomato, red pepper + half-part onion]
1 large English cucumber OR 2 small Persian cucumbers, diced

Fattoush Salad
5
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Memorial Day week

Mon: burgers fries grill veg and onions
Tue: Shepherd salad night
Wed: pita pocket + kofta salad night
Thus: brick chicken with rice and https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad
Fri: order in from Cava

Menu for the week of January 26: Winter Med

Menu for the week of Sept 29 (Mediterranean)

Sat: No one is hungry
Sun: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/hot-smoked-salmon with https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/jeweled-rice and tomato, onion, cucumber salad, roast eggplant
Mon: kofta pita pockets with feta, yogurt dip, and https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/parsley-red-onion-and-pomegrana...
Tue: Mediterranean salad (lettuce, chopped tomato onion cucumber red pepper, parsley) with feta and leftover salmon, yogurt dressing
Wed: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/berber-eggs with https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad

Menu for the week of Aug 20

Sat: Burgers w/corn, grilled patty pans [roast eggplant, look at weather, marinate chicken?]
Sun: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/persian-chicken-kabab-jujeh-kabob or https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/brick-chicken and yogurt sauce with https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/melon-and-mint-tabbouleh [prep eggplant salad]
Mon: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/spiced-eggplant-bulgur-salad
Tue: [J late] chicken pita pockets with leftover tabbouleh on the side
Wed: salad with leftover chicken
Thus: [A out] chicken pita pockets with leftover tabbouleh on the side

Menu for the week of June 11: Turkish

Sat: Lamb burgers (watercress/arugula, tomato, feta, red onion, harissa yogurt mayo) https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grilled-brined-vegetables (only grill half) with https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grilled-halloumi-with-watercress; grill veg and lamb for Noah
Sun: https://littleferrarokitchen.com/turkish-pide-turkish-pizza-with... Pide x2 w/ green salad, veg
Prep zucchini fritters, crunchy vegetables
Mon: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/zucchini-herb-fritterslatkes-ga... w/ https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/crunchy-salty-lemony-salad

Pide (meat and cheese)

Menu for the week of March 30 (Passover)

Fri: Passover meal / harissa chicken
Sat: Leftover chicken and rice
Sun: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/lamb-shanks-with-pomegranate-a... w/ https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad
Mon: Middle Eastern Salad
Tue: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/one-skillet-roasted-butternut-...
Wed: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/green-shakshuka
Thus: Leftover lamb
Fri: Day date? Out for lunch?

Menu for the week of March 11 (Mediterranean)

Sat: Kitchen sink salad, Thanksgiving Rolls
Sun: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/kofta-mediterranean-meatballs [make double batch and freeze] with basmati rice, veg, yogurt sauce, and https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/parsley-red-onion-and-pomegrana...
Mon: [A out] leftover kofta with pita, yogurt sauce, leftover parsley salad, tomato, onion, etc.
Tue: Audrey’s chicken with https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/jeweled-rice
Wed: Mediterranean salad with feta and chickpeas
Thus: Berber eggs with pita
Fri: [A out] Eat all the leftovers?

Kofta

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Harissa

Via https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/one-skillet-crispy-chicken-thi... , with some modifications:

  • 4 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt
  • Very small potatoes (or sunchokes?), cut down to 1" diameter pieces (about 6 fingerling potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts), cleaned, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, preferably with a mandoline, divided, fronds reserved for serving
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Harissa
4
Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Menu for the week of May 6

Sat: BBQ
Sun: Steak, baguette, asparagus
Mon: lamb chops w/ asparagus, side salad
Tue: Brick Chicken w/ https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/parsley-red-onion-and-pomegrana...
Wed: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/middle-eastern-salad
Thu: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/shakshuka-tomatochickpea-egg
Fri: Out

Shakshuka

Menu for the week Feb 26: Mixed

Sat: Grill steak, veg, https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/parsley-red-onion-and-pomegrana... (smoke salmon)
Sun: Out for lunch? “tapas/dips” style dinner - dolma, http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chile-cumin-lamb-meatballs-with..., spreads...https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/yogurt-dips
Mon: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/brick-chicken w/ https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad
Tue: dill/yogurt/salmon/mediterranean salad
Wed: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/berber-eggs
Thu: pita w/meatballs

Menu for the week of Dec 10

Sat: Holiday Parties
Sun: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/kofta-mediterranean-meatballs with shallot sumac yogurt sauce
Mon: Kale and brussels sprouts salad
Tue: Holiday Parties
Wed: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/butternut-squash-farrotto
Thu: J leftover kofta with pita
Fri: Leftovers
Sat: Out
Sun: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/shrimp-saganaki with romanesco
Mon: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad

Kofta

Menu for the week of Sept 17

Menu for the week of Aug 20 - Mediterranean tomatoes

Sat: Office BBQ
Sun: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/spanish-gazpacho + prep tart
Mon: Fish something + https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/tomato-salad-shallot-vinaigrette
Tue: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/fresh-tomato-tart-chevre
Wed: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/panzanella-salad
Thu: Gazpacho and leftover tart

And the Cabin Weekend plan:

Fri Dinner: Grilled fish with grilled sides and salad
Sat Breakfast: Bagels with lox and cream cheese
Sat Lunch: Packed sandwiches (tuna salad, etc.) that are easy to eat on a hike
Sat Dinner: Steak with grilled sides, salad, baguette

Tomato Tart

Zucchini-Herb Fritters/Latkes With Garlic Yogurt

Garlic Yogurt
½ cup plain yogurt (not Greek)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fritters And Assembly
2 small zucchini, ends trimmed
1 small russet potato, peeled
½ medium onion
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 garlic clove, finely grated
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, plus more for serving

Zucchini Fritters
4
Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Menu for the week of June 11: Turkish

Sat: Lamb burgers (watercress/arugula, tomato, feta, red onion, harissa yogurt mayo) https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grilled-brined-vegetables (only grill half) with https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grilled-halloumi-with-watercress; grill veg and lamb for Noah
Sun: https://littleferrarokitchen.com/turkish-pide-turkish-pizza-with... Pide x2 w/ green salad, veg
Prep zucchini fritters, crunchy vegetables
Mon: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/zucchini-herb-fritterslatkes-ga... w/ https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/crunchy-salty-lemony-salad

Zucchini Fritters

Farro Pistachio Raisin Herb grainbowl

1½ cups cooked farro (~2 cups dry, cooked)
½ cup pistachios
2 cups coarsely chopped mixed fresh cilantro, mint, and parsley
⅓ cup golden raisins
1 serrano chile, sliced into rings

For the dressing:
1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
½ teaspoon honey
⅓ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

Roast pistachios in a skillet over medium heat.

In a large bowl, combine cooled/drained cooked farro, pistachios, raisins, herbs, and chiles; toss to combine.

Farro-pistachio-raisin-herb grainbowl
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Menu for the week of March 12th

Sat: Lamb burgers
Sun: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/mussels-la-dubrovnik w/ green salad
Mon: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/salmon-tomato-and-olive-salsa w/ green veg
Tue: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/farro-with-pistachios-mixed-herbs-and-golden-raisins 
Wed: Pita sandwiches (tomato, onion, cucumber, grape leaves, feta, tzaziki, meat?)
Thu: https://audreyandjon.com/recipes/shrimp-saganaki 
Fri: 7th Hill!
Sat: Greek salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion, feta, pita chips, lemon/olive oil dressing, sumac)

Mussels a la Dubrovnik

Berber Eggs

Bon Appetit called this recipe Tunisian-style eggs, but we instantly recognized it as a close cousin to the Berber Eggs we had for breakfast in Morocco. We tweaked the recipe slightly, and it was delicious!

Serves 2

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, cored, chopped or thinly sliced into strips
1/2 large tomato, finely diced
3+ tablespoon harissa paste and/or dried spice mix

Berber eggs
4
Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Menu for the week of Jan 24 (North African / Mediterranean)

Fri: http://audreyandjon.com/recipes/lemon-skate  w/broccoli
Sat: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/moroccan-lamb-shanks-pomegranate w/salad and couscous
Sun: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/salmon-with-cucumber-yogurt-sauce-and-carrot-salad
Mon: Out with Laura and Tom
Tue: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/tunisian-style-poached-eggs-in-red-pepper-sauce w/broccoli   
Wed: http://audreyandjon.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad 
Thu Leftover Lamb w/ salad and couscous
Fri: Garrison
Sat: Chiles Rellenos for dinner

Skate and Pasta

Menu for the week of Jan 10 (Levantine)

Sat: http://audreyandjon.com/recipes/tah-chin-persian-rice-casserole  
Sun: http://audreyandjon.com/recipes/wheat-berry-fennel-and-pomegranate-salad 
Mon: workshop dinner? OR salad and cottage cheese
Tue: Lebanese Taverna w/ Ian
Wed: Leftover Tah Chin OR salad and cottage cheese
Thu: Baby spinach salad with dates and almonds
Fri: Leftover Tah Chin

Tah Chin

Mussels a la Dubrovnik

This is a modified recipe of "Mussels à la Buzara", trying to replicate a dish from http://www.dubravka1836.hr/

2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded; dispose of any mussels with shells that stay open.
2 medium tomatoes, diced
¼ cup breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup parsley, chopped
olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mussels a la Dubrovnik
3.5
Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Menu for Week of July 12th

Sat: Out/Ethiopian
Sun: Thai w/Elle 
Mon: Tomato Tart
Tue: A Out; Gazpacho and bread and ____?
Wed: Stone fruit salad /w goat cheese  
Thu: Gazpacho and baguette
Fri: Tart and Gazpacho and salad and baguette
Sat: Pizza
Sun:  Steak
Mon: Steak Salad 
Tue: Leftovers

Hummus Pancakes With Tahini Mayo

Via Dorie Greenspan, these quick blender savory pancakes could be used in many interesting ways. Combines nicely with this avocado and cucumber salad for a meat-free, heavy protein meal.

Pancakes
1 cup home-cooked or canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained, 1/4 cup of their liquid reserved
1/2 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, cut in half lengthwise (germ removed)

Hummus Pancakes
2
Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

Menu for Week of May 24th

Sun: BBQ
Mon: Steak w/veg, baguette
Tue: http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/rice-salad-fava-beans-and-pistachios  
Wed: Lamb pita kabobs with grilled vegetables
Thu: Mediterranean Salad
Fri: Rice salad leftovers

Menu for Week of March 29th

Sat: http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/shakshuka-tomatochickpea-egg 
Sun: http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/lamb-shawarma with asparagus and http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/yogurt-dips (shallot sumac)
Mon: (out) 
Tue: http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/parsley-red-onion-and-pomegranate-salad, subbing some spring greens for parsley, adding lamb and fried pita
Wed: Lamb pita pockets with feta
Thu: http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad substituting some carrots for kale
Fri: Passover dinner

Lamb Shawarma

Rice Salad with Fava Beans and Pistachios

Another delicious Ottolenghi recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit and tweaked just a bit.

½ cup wild rice
Kosher salt
1 cup basmati rice
1 dried Iranian lime (or keffir lime leaf)
2 cups fresh shelled fava beans (can substitute lima beans)
½ cup chopped fresh dill
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup unsalted, raw pistachios
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
½ cup pomegranate seeds

Rice Salad with Fava Beans and Pistachios
4
Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Parsley, Red Onion and Pomegranate Salad

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground sumac
Kosher salt

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or ½ tsp. honey
2 cups (lightly packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
¼ cup pomegranate seeds

Toss onion, sugar, and sumac in a medium bowl; season with salt and let sit 30 minutes. Add oil, vinegar, and pomegranate molasses and toss to combine; let sit 5 minutes.

Just before serving, toss in parsley and pomegranate seeds; season with salt. Could add crumbled feta as well.

Parsly, Red Onion and Pomegranate Salad
4
Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Grill Lamb Pita Burgers

½ pound ground lamb, preferably shoulder
¼ medium onion, very finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup crumbled feta
1 tsp ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch ground cinnamon
½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp cup olive oil, plus more for grilling

2-4 thick medium pita breads with pockets

Using a fork, mix lamb, feta, onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and oil in a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Grilled Lamb Pita Burgers
2.5
Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Week of September 19

Sat: Out
Sun: Pita burgers http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spiced-lamb-burger with http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/parsley-red-onion-and-pomegrana... [make rice dish, dips]
Mon: Jerusalem+BA Rice dish http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/rice-salad-with-fava-beans-and-...
Tue: Dip Night w/ Drinker's Choice, Hummus, Labne w/ Carrot Salad http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/moroccan-carrot-salad
Wed: Dip Night redux + dolmades w/ Carrot Salad [roast eggplant?]
Thu: Spiced Eggplant with Bulgur Salad http://www.audreyandjon.com/recipes/spiced-eggplant-bulgur-salad

Grilled Lamb Pita Burgers

Falafelesque Fritters

I found this recipe on the internet. It was easy to make and pretty tasty. Also, I would imagine you can use almost any green, making this a relatively healthy year-round dish.

4 cups stemmed and torn collard greens or swiss chard (about 1/4 lb or 1 bunch)
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or about 2/3 cup dry beans, soaked and cooked)
3 medium to large cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp tahini
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 salt
1/4 black pepper

Falafel Fritters
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Levantine) Menu for Week of June 22nd

Sun: ">Jujeh/Mixed Kebab, Zereshk Polo, and Grilled Veg
Mon: Middle Eastern Salad with Fried Chickpeas (from Wed recipe) and Feta
Tue: Kebab pita sandwiches
Wed & This: Out
Fri: Moroccan Carrot Salad with Wild Rice/Chickpea dish and Pita

Basmati with Wild Rice

Pide Pizza

Based off of this recipe, we simply used a pre-made pizza dough and focused on the fillings.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F

½lbs minced beef or lamb (or pre-seasoned sausage, removed from casing)
1 Onion
2 or 3 Green peppers or red
1 large tomato
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ground sweet red pepper or paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
½ cup finely shredded cheese to melt on top

Finely mince onion, peppers and tomato

Pide (meat and cheese)
2.5
Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Menu for week of May 30

Spice Crusted Winter Vegetables with Harissa Yogurt

2 pounds small carrots or other hearty winter vegetable (we used brussels sprouts), salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander or fennel
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup labneh (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon harissa paste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, plus more
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more
Lemon wedges (for serving)

Roasted vegetables with harissa labneh sauce
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Lamb Shawarma

We took a lamb recipe from Jerusalem: A Cookbook and adapted it with a cooking technique from Cook's Illustrated to create a perfectly tender, medium-rare lamb roast with shawarma spices.

Lamb Shawarma
4.5
Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Root Vegetable Slaw

This Yotam Ottolenghi recipe was a nice complement to his lamb shawarma dish. It was also a nice, bright, fresh salad at a time of year when you're craving anything but kale. Serving it with labneh makes it a more substantial dish.

Serves at least 4 as a side salad.

Root Vegetable Slaw
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Basmati and Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants and Herbs

This Yotam Ottolenghi recipe was amazing. The balance of the sweet currants with the curry-spiced chickpeas was surprising and delightful and the fried onions sealed the deal. Yes, it's got a lot of components, but it is totally worth it. I have halved the proportions to serve 8 as a side or 4 as a main.

Basmati with Wild Rice
5
Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Fesenjoon (Walnut Pomegranate Stew)

I've had versions of this dish in various restaurants, but never attempted it at home before. I found a lot of recipes online and cobbled together a best of breed. This recipe isn't difficult, but it does take about 4 hours from start to finish.

Walnut stew
2
Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

Bean Dips

Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated.

0
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Basmati Rice Salad

Based on this recipe from Bon Appetit

Dressing
1 small shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Salad
2 cups cooked basmati rice, cooled
2 cups bite-size pieces assorted vegetables (such as radishes, tomatoes, peas, summer squash) or carrot ribbons
3/4 cup torn mixed leafy greens, sprouts, and herbs

Rice Salad
2.5
Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Pomegranate-Marinated Lamb with Couscous

This is tasty recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit

1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds lamb shoulder blade chops, cut into 3/4-inch square pieces, bones reserved

1 1/4 cups water, divided
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 10-ounce box plain couscous

Pomegranate Lamb with Couscous
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Menu for the Week of October 7

Sun: Steak with corn and tomato salad
Mon: Pomegranate Lamb http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pomegranate-marinated-lamb-with...
Tue: Fatteh bel djaje
Wed: Dinner out with friends
Thu: Basmati Rice and Summer Veg Salad http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/basmati-rice-and-summer-vegetab...

Fatteh Bel Djaje

This original recipe (attached) came from a cooking class we took at Lebanese Taverna for a friend's birthday. We finally made this at home, and frankly, the original recipe was way too complicated. I post here a simplified, notional recipe that I may refine in the future.

The basic thing you're making is a layering of chickpeas, chicken, pita chips, yogurt, and garnishes - "Lebanese nachos," if you will. To make this an easy weeknight meal, you're ideally using leftover chickpeas and chicken, buying pre-made pita chips, and doing only minimal preparation on the day of. It does require some pre-planning but makes the final "cooking" really easy. Yes, it's tastier if all of these things are freshly made and still warm, but whatever. I'm a working woman.

Fatteh Bel Djaje
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Spiced Salmon Kebabs

Courtesy of Bon Appetit, an easy and tasty recipe with a middle eastern flavor profile.

Serves 2

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 pound skinless salmon fillet (preferably wild), cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 lemons, sliced into rounds approx 1/4" thick
2 tablespoons olive oil

Salmon Kebab
3.5
Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Kofta (Mediterranean Meatballs)

This tasty and relatively easy recipe came from this fantastic cookbook centered on one of my favorite cuisines. The recipe calls for a mix of lamb and veal, but lamb alone would probably be good too.

Makes 24 kofta.

1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground veal
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3-4 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 large medium-hot red chile, seeded
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Kofta
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Rice

As someone who has no fewer than 5 kinds of rice in the house at any one time, I can attest that different kinds of rice require different cooking methods. Here are some of the most successful methods I've found for different kinds of rice:

Rice
3
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Menu for the week of Feb 24

This week we wanted tasty, and easy to prepare ahead of time, so we went with a levantine theme:

Lamb Tagine with Apricot couscous

Brick Chicken with Zereshk Polo

Fattoush Salad with fried chickpeas

Zeresk Polo

Burnt Eggplant with Pomegranate Dip

Ingredients:
2 large eggplants
3 gloves garlic, minced
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
4 Tbsp olive oil

To finish:
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional: top with smoked salt.

Char eggplants on a stove top (~20 minutes), grill or on a broil mode in the oven (~45 minutes, turning twice). Turn around so it is very charred all around. If broiling, piece the skin in multiple places.

Burnt Eggplant
2
Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

Pomegranate Lamb Shank

When we first made this dish, we noted that it was good but a lot of effort. In this year's Bon Appetit food cleanse, they included a recipe with a suspiciously-similar flavor profile but significantly less work. We tested it out and it was good and pretty easy. The lamb still has to braise for like 4 hours in the oven, but the prep beforehand is very simple. Great for a snowzilla of a day!

Serves 4

Pomegranate Lamb
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemons

We hosted family for Thanksgiving this year and found ourselves innovating to accommodate a gluten-free family member. We very easily modified David Lebovitz's original recipe to create a delicious dish that everyone loved.

​1 1/2-pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1 large onion, peeled and minced
1 cup quinoa (alternatively, for a gluten dish, use 1 3/4 cup Israeli couscous, or Italian pepe-style pasta)
1 small cinnamon stick
1 large or 2 small preserved lemons

Quinoa and Butternut Squash
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Moroccan Carrot Salad

Adapted from The Bitten Word, adapted from Food & Wine.  We didn't have any Harissa handy, so we improvised.  This salad provides a great, bright and spicy contrast to a tagine dish.

For the salad

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  • 2 cups carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Carrot Salad
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    Middle Eastern Salad

    I am a big fan of any number of "middle eastern salads" - lettuce-less salads which go by different names (with slightly different twists) in a variety of middle eastern and mediterranean cuisines. Yes, there is a difference between a fattoush salad and a shirazi salad, but frankly, I find that what I want is the same basic recipe with a few optional modifications, depending on how the dish will fit into the week's menu.

    The basic vegetable components of the salad are:
    Diced tomatoes (or halved cherry tomatoes)

    Fattoush salad with fried chickpeas
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    Spiced Eggplant with Bulgur Salad

    A delicious and easy Bon Appetit recipe.

    Serves 2

    1/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
    1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon peel (optional)
    1 garlic clove, smashed
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more

    1 medium eggplant (9–10 ounces), halved lengthwise

    Spiced Eggplant with Bulgar salad
    4.5
    Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

    Menu for the week of July 1

    Sunday - (Grilling steak - dry-aged for 4 days in the fridge)

    Monday - Eating out at America Eats' last week

    Tuesday - Fattoush Salad

    Wednesday - Burgers and corn for July 4

    Thus - Grilled spiced eggplant

    Fri - Brick Chicken

    Shakshuka - tomato/chickpea with egg

    From Bon Appetit halved (still serves four) and with some modifications:

    Ingredients
    3 T olive oil
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
    2 jalapeños, finely chopped
    1 1/2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained (or 1 can chickpeas)
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    2 14-ounce can tomatoes (diced or whole+hand-crushed), juices reserved
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    salt to taste
    3/4 cup coarsely crumbled feta

    Shakshuka
    3.5
    Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

    Wheat Berry, Fennel, and Pomegranate Salad

    I modified a Bon Appetit recipe, and it was delicious. The original recipe called for quinoa, but only having wheat berries in the pantry, I substituted. And frankly, I think the wheat berries were better because they provided more texture and toothsome-ness that quinoa would have. The only other change I made was dropping the dill. I don't particularly like it, and even though Jon does, I made it when he wasn't home!

    Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side

    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Wheat Berry Salad
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    Zaytinya

    Cost: 
    $$ - Average

    Location

    Zaytinya
    701 9th Street Northwest Chinatown
    Washington, DC
    United States
    38° 53' 56.454" N, 77° 1' 24.4848" W

    Audrey's favorite, a Turkish/Mediterranean tapas restaurant. Great for large groups (with reservations)

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    Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas and Apricots

    I tweaked a Bon Appetit recipe and it was pretty good!

    Ingredients

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  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves (2 whole, 3 chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
  • 1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 3 pounds 1" cubes lamb shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lamb Tagine
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    Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

    Lamb Chops with Mint Something

    Made delicious and easy lamb chops tonight. Basically combined these two</a href> recipes and served it with this mint jelly.

    Lamb Chops
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    Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

    Salmon with Tomato and Olive "Salsa"

    Audrey whipped this up to go with grilled or pan-seared salmon. It was easy and delicious!

    For the salsa fresca:
    2 parts cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1 part rough chopped kalamata olives
    1 part diced red onions
    1 part feta, crumbled
    lemon juice
    olive oil (if possible, from a jar of sundried tomatoes)
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    For the salmon:
    Wash and thoroughly dry the fillet.
    Season the flesh side with salt and pepper, a dash of smoke salt, garlic powder, lemon pepper, and a dash of herbs de Provence

    Heat grapeseed (or other, high-heat) oil in a skillet

    Salmon with Tomato-Olive-Onion-Feta salsa
    4
    Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

    Chilled Watermelon Soup

    From http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chilled-Watermelon-... , but the flavor profile would probably also make a great salad.

    6 pounds yellow or red seedless watermelon, diced (9 cups)
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 cup lightly sweet white wine (such as Riesling) or 3/4 cup water mixed with 1/4 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon chopped ginger
    8 teaspoons crumbled feta
    1/4 cup sparkling wine (or sparkling water)

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    Sauteed Fresh Chickpeas

    Delicious and easy ... if you can find fresh chick peas (garbanzo beans).

    2 cups fresh garbanzo beans, washed
    olive oil to coat pan
    pat butter (if desired, for flavor)
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tbsp water

    Heat oil and butter in sautee pan. Add garbanzo beans in a single layer. Add water and lemon juice. Cover. Cook about 4 minutes, or until undersides of bean start to brown and burn. Only shake side to side while cooking.

    Pour into a bowl (with oil/juices) and serve. Eat sort of like edamame. Lick fingers.

    Fresh Chickpeas
    4.5
    Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

    Tah Chin (Persian Rice Casserole)

    When I was in high school, I dated a Persian (Iranian) guy for a few months. I don't remember much about our relationship, but I do remember his mother's cooking! After we'd been dating for while, his family invited mine over for a Friday night dinner. All I remember is a chicken/rice/currant/nut casserole that was absolutely delicious.

    TahChin2.jpg
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    Jeweled Rice

    Growing up, I was exposed to much delicious Persian food (owing to the large Iranian population in LA). One of my favorite dishes is Zereshk Polo - basmati rice with barberries and sometimes other dried fruits and nuts. I started with zereshk polo and added other ingredients commonly found in jeweled rice, ending up in a hybrid recipe of sorts.

    Adapted from this recipe. Makes enough rice to serve 4.

    Zeresk Polo
    3.5
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    Apricot Couscous

    1 cup couscous
    1 small red onion, small dice
    1 1/2 cups chicken stock, warm
    1/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup whole almonds toasted, coarsely chopped
    2 scallions green parts only
    1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
    1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped plus leaves for garnish
    1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    pinch of lemon zest
    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Apricot couscous
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    Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

    We really enjoy the vegetarian dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice and other sundies) from Eastern Market, and so we thought we'd try and make them ourselves. We found grape leaves in brine at the supermarket and went from there. While I do enjoy cooking "projects," I have to admit that this one is pretty labor intensive. It's delicious, but undertake with caution.

    I cobbled together the recipe from online sources.

    Makes about 40 dolmades.

    Dolmades
    3.5
    Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

    Yogurt Dips

    I never met a yogurt dip I didn't like. Seriously. If there's ever one on a menu, I order it. I will slather it on everything, especially middle eastern and mediterranean foods.

    Instead of proliferating pages and pages of yogurt dip recipes, I've decided to collect them all here. In most cases, the dips will be better on the second day once the flavors have had a chance to marry.

    Shallot Yogurt Sauce/Dip
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    Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

    Shrimp Saganaki

    Garides (Shrimp) Saganaki is one of Audrey's favorite dishes (though no longer on the menu) at Zaytinya, one of her favorite restaurants in DC. This recipe is a surprisingly easy replica of that dish. It's fast and can be made mostly with ingredients we already have in our kitchen.

    Shrimp Saganaki with sauteed Kale flowers
    3.5
    Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

    Persian Chicken Kabab (Jujeh Kabob)

    Great!

    Serves 2-3. Can easily be doubled/tripled.

    Chicken Kababs
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    Falafel

    ... or you could just buy falafel mix and add water. We didn't actually follow this recipe, but it looks good.

    http://mideastfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/falafelrecipe.htm

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    Melon and Mint Tabbouleh

    A twist on a classic mediterranean salad. The melon makes it sweet instead of savory. Any kind of melon will do. Should keep in the fridge about 5 days. The lime juice will slowly absorb into the bulgar, so add extra lime each day to bring back the tang.

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Melon-and-Mint-Tabbouleh-12...

    Melon and Mint Tabbouleh
    4
    Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

    Grilled Lamb and Fig Kabobs

    This was a very yummy grilled lamb recipes. The lamb were tender and the mint glaze was excellent on top.

    Lamb and Fig Kabobs
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    Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

    Lamb with Feta Sliders

    An excellent alternative to beef burgers! Mix feta in with the meat for easier "cheeseburger" preparation.

    http://www.thehungrymouse.com/home/2009/06/17/lamb-sliders-with-...

    4
    Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

    Mediterranean Style Hummus

    Adapted from a blog that apparently isn't public anymore.

    Hummus
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    Mediterranean Seared Salmon

    Marinade: 2 parts Olive oil with 1 part balsamic vinegar
    Rub: crushed garlic, salt, thinly sliced basil

    Separately, sautee some sliced kalamata olives with capers and olive oil
    Sear the salmon with sliced portabello mushrooms until they are tender.
    After searing the salmon, place it in a warmed oven to cook it further.

    Reduce some wine (a light red, beaujolais ideally or pinot or zin) with the mushrooms), add in more red balsamic vinegar during this process.
    drizzle tzatiki on the salmon and sprinkle the olive/capers on top.

    Mediterranean Salmon
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    Drinker's Choice

    In Austin, there used to be a fantastic Turkish restaurant called Ararat - one of Austin's best kept restaurant secrets (that everyone knows). They had bellydancing all weekend and live bands during the week, and some of the best middle eastern food you'll find. It was a small place with rug-covered walls that was always jam-packed.

    Drinker's Choice
    4
    Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

    Lebanese Tabbouleh

    From Epicurious

    1/2 cup fine bulgur
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup boiling-hot water
    2 cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 2 bunches)
    1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
    2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    1/2 cucumber, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    Tabbouleh
    3
    Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

    Pistachio-Crusted Halibut with Spicy Yogurt

    A good mediterranean fish dish, but could easily sub out the halibut.

    Via Epicurious: "After he went on the Blue Voyage, Boston chef Chris Schlesinger came up with the idea for this recipe, which brings together many of the characteristic flavors of Turkey's Mediterranean coast. Halibut works best, but you can use any mild, firm-fleshed white fish"

    For Halibut:
    4 (1 1/4-inch-thick) pieces skinless halibut fillet (about 6 ounces each)
    1 cup whole milk
    1/3 cup shelled pistachios (preferably Turkish), finely chopped
    3 tablespoons cornmeal
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    1
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    Brick Chicken

    2 large or 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1-2 two-sided breasts)

    2 teaspoons cumin
    1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 teaspoons coriander
    1 teaspoon cayenne
    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    Olive oil

    Toast spices in a medium saucepan over low heat until fragrant.

    Rub the blended spices all over the chicken. Marinate for up to 4 hours or overnight.

    Heat a large cast iron skillet (or other heavy oven-proof pan) over medium heat.

    When hot, add a 2-count of extra virgin olive oil and place the chicken in the pan.

    Brick Chicken
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    Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

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