Fried Halloumi

A world without halloumi is not a world that I am prepared to live in. I fondly remember how our Sunday family breakfasts in the States consisted of a variety of mezze dishes ranging from dips to shakshuka to zaa’tar. I found comfort knowing that halloumi would always be amongst those foods. The luscious cheese has always…

Freekeh Salad

Freekeh. If you’ve been following my posts, you’ve probably noticed that I use this ancient grain quite often, a few times a week in fact. I grew up eating it in my grandmother’s soothing chicken and freekeh soup, the Middle Eastern version of chicken noodle soup. It wasn’t, however, until I began experimenting in my…

Roasted Aubergine with Pesto and Tahini

This roasted aubergine dish is another favorite in my book. It is undemanding and rather effortless, but its flavors are anything but modest. This recipe for me, is synonymous with the simplicity and freshness of Eastern Mediterranean and Levantine cuisine.  Roasted aubergine slices topped with a flavorful basil pesto and tangy tahini drizzle… A fusion of…

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

A creamy, satisfying, and invigorating butternut squash and carrot soup with hints of ginger and a generous dose of turmeric. The flavors here are warming, energizing, and vibrant. Top with some zaa’tar, a light drizzle of olive oil, and a dollop of labaneh or greek yogurt for a bowl of pure joy. And while this…

Rose and Clementine Cake

Desert rose. A luscious and moist clementine cake with a rose water and vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. This sponge is charming, enticing, and fragrant. A splendid way to brighten up a pale and gloomy day. Top with silvered pistachios and pomegranate seeds for a romantic finishing touch. INGREDIENTS For the Cake 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 1/2 teaspoon…

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

This is one of my go to salads. It is quick and simple to make, but loaded with flavor and satisfaction. The deliciously golden butternut squash is spiced with paprika and roasted until its surface is crispy and slightly chewy. It is then combined with fresh greens, toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, sultanas, sesame seeds, plenty of…

Spelt Flatbreads with Zaa’tar

When I was a child, my grandfather would often tell me that zaa’tar made people smart. “Eat, eat, you are getting smarter,” he would say. I would giggle away thinking that he was just saying that to get me to eat the tangy greenish powder. These days I need no excuse to devour the delicious spice blend…

Chunky Chickpea Shakshuka

This is one of those meals that speaks to the soul. Growing up, I would often have shakshuka in my grandmother’s cozy Amman kitchen during my childhood vacations in Jordan. That would be the beginning of my lifelong passion for cooking. My paternal grandmother Nema’s enthusiasm was evident by the way that she poured her…

Double Chocolate Muffins with Orange Blossom

Double chocolate muffins. But not just any double chocolate muffins. These are made with orange blossom water, yogurt, and olive oil for a rich flavor and moist texture. They are chocolatey, soft, and utterly delicious. Each bite provides a distant taste of the orange blossom just to remind you it is there. I like the…

One Pot Mujadarra with Freekeh

I finally woke up to a dark, gloomy, and chilly morning, which after having lived half of my life in Florida, is an occasion for excitement. Late autumn and winter are my favorite times of the year. They call for hot teas, cozy fires, revitalizing meals, good reads, and most importantly, good company. Mujadarra, which is…

Roasted Butternut Squash with Zaa’tar and Tahineh

The ingredients that make this recipe so special are as basic in my pantry as salt and pepper. Zaa’tar, tahineh, and extra-virgin olive oil are my kitchen staples, but they add a degree of complexity and depth to so many dishes. And as I have recently discovered, one of the best partners to tahineh is one…

Canaan Autumn Salad

Golden sunrises, crisp cool breezes, and an abundance of comforting produce characterize the fall season in the Mediterranean. This salad, which is often the result of my October pantry-raiding, reflects the colors and flavors of this bountiful month. Fresh bright green arugula, crispy spiced chickpeas, vivid and sweet sultanas, crunchy nuts, sweet and sour pomegranate…