Levantine

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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
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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 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

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
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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 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

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
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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

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
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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
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Bean Dips

Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated.

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
    5
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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
    4
    Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

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

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

    Mediterranean Style Hummus

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

    Hummus
    3
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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)

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

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