Bookmark and Share

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back in the game

Much like most things in my life, the time, energy and inspiration it takes to keep up with this blog waxes and wanes. I promised myself that I would quit apologizing all the time, but I can't help it. Sorry its been so long since I've posted! Nothing but summer vay-cay to blame it on.

I've got a lot up my sleeve, though. Here are two Lebanese recipes for quick, summer snacks

Badounis bil Tahini
Parsley and Tahini dip

Tahini acts bizarr-o when you mix it slowly with water and lemon. Initially, it becomes tough like putty, so tough you can hardly stir it. But when you add a little bit more, it magically thins out to a lovely, creamy puree.

Remember, the only way to make parsley taste good is to cut it small. First cut it as small as you can. Then, take a breather, shake out your aching knuckles, and cut it again. A lot of recipes call for like, a tablespoon of parsley, and this is a good recipe to use up the leftover bunch [especially if you are like me, and you always have tahini on hand].

I know a lot of people prefer precise recipes, but this one is "arab style", meaning I totally winged it. Adjust to your liking!

Badounis bil Tahini
Parsley and Tahini dip

two or two and a half cups tahini
chopped parsley [ you do want to add enough so there is a fresh, green taste to lighten the tahini, so at least half a bunch, chopped SMALL!]
lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed

Thin the tahini with small amounts of liquid, alternating the water and lemon juice. Like I said, it will be very tough to stir at first, and you will think you did something wrong, but keep adding the liquid and it will break and fluff up. [Its a beautiful process, really].

Stir in the salt, parsley, and crushed garlic, and then thin to desired consistency. Use as a dip or spread on pita as a sandwich. It holds up well in the fridge, and good to have on hand for surprise guests and midnight snacks!

Lentil and Yogurt Salad
'adas bil laban

The yogurt-mint-lemon-garlic-salt sauce is a summer mainstay, and tastes good on the chickpea, the fava, the white bean, the this lentil, the that lentil. In other words, essential.

2 cups brown lentils, cooked [al dente, not mushy] and chilled to room temperature
1.5 cup or so of plain yogurt, Greek, if you can find it
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed

Mix the mint, garlic, salt and lemon in with the yogurt, and then stir into lentils. Eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. :)

No comments: