Black-eyed Peas and Tomato Salad for Meze Table

Although this preparation of black-eyed peas and tomatoes is called a salad, in Lebanon it is usually an addition to the spread of various dishes found on a meze table. This salad is perfect for an end of the summer meal.  Serve it with romaine lettuce leaves to be used as scoops. For ease of […]

Horta – Simple Greek-style Boiled Greens

In Greece and its islands, horta is the name of any kind of boiled wild green, derived from the Greek word for “small garden,” a word that also gives, through the Latin, the Spanish word for large vegetable garden, huerta. There are many varieties of dishes called horta because there are many wild greens, cultivated […]

Exotic Watermelon Pudding from Sicily

Watermelons are a typical, and beloved, conclusion to an American summer grill party. In Sicily, watermelons are also popular eaten in their raw state as well as being the main ingredient in an amazing sweet pudding for dessert. The main ingredients of this Sicilian gelu ‘i muluni, watermelon pudding, were all introduced by Arab farmers […]

Bigoli, The Latest Hot New Pasta

Bigoli is actually not the latest hot new pasta as Venetians have known of it for centuries. However, in America, where food fads are driven by newness rather than tradition you’ll be hearing more about it. Bigoli in salsa, an old and beloved Venetian preparation made on Good Friday. A Venetian would know that bigoli […]

Hasu – A Spicy Soup of the Algerian Jews

Bread bakers set aside a portion of yeasted dough to act as a starter for the next batch of bread. This starter is called a sponge, poolish, levain de boulanger in French, and biga in Italian. But in this medieval soup of the Jews of North Africa it is the foundation to a soup. The […]

Mantı, The Turkish and Armenian Delicacy Everyone Should Make

The roots of everyday Turkish cuisine, as opposed to the court cuisine, are found in the Turkic tribes of the Central Asia and perhaps the pre-existing Greek inhabitants of Anatolia.  As the Turkish food authority Nevin Halıcı suggests, a study of the food habits of contemporary Kazan Turks and Tatars might indicate a close relationship […]

Meatballs and Rice in a Middle Eastern Way

This preparation popular in Lebanon and Syria was not always so. In the eighteenth century Damacenes, like all Syrians, preferred wheat and switched to rice and other grains only when wheat became too expensive or was in short supply. But rice was a relatively pricey import from Egypt and was considered a luxury and never […]

Puntarella Chicory Arrives!

Chicory is an herbaceous wild biennial or perennial found all over the Mediterranean. The leaves of chicory have a basal rosette of runcinate leaves, that is, with lobes are deeply incised and recurved at the tip. The heads are large with loose, dark green leaves that taste bitter. The flowering stalk emerges out of this […]

Cold Weather January Soup Is A Lentil Bulgur Soup from Turkey

Winter is a time for soups. This soup is one I came across during a particularly cold April in Turkey. In Turkey, soups are favorite preparations during the winter.  One forgets how cold it gets in the Mediterranean and these soul-satisfying soups are quite perfect for warming up and feeling good about exorcising that piercing […]

A Fondue Party, Done Properly, In The Swiss Way

For years many foodies (even before there were “foodies”) thought of fondue, that classic dish of melted cheese for dipping, as gastronomically corny. This was especially so between 1975 and 1995, when fondue was so dated that the only fondue set most people had was the one in the attic leftover from their parents’ 1950s […]

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