Migliaccio – Ricotta and Semolina Cheesecake

Migliaccio is a rustic ricotta and semolina cheesecake that hails from the Italian city of Naples. Made with aromatic notes of vanilla and orange, it is the perfect treat for the chilly months that lie ahead. The use of ricotta makes for a light and fluffy texture distinct from the original cheesecake. And semolina provides…

Vegetarian Kofta (“Meatballs”) with Tahini

These meatless vegetable-based “meatballs” or vegetarian koftas were the result of requests that I often get to develop more plant-based recipes based on traditional Palestinian dishes. I always welcome such requests because this is the kind of food that I enjoy eating the most. It does not get better than wholesome, feel-good, satisfying food that…

Apricot, Pistachio, and Olive Oil Biscotti

Biscotti is an Italian word that comes from the medieval Latin word meaning, “twice-baked.” The cookies, or biscuits, are first baked into loaves, cooled, sliced into long pieces, and baked again until crisp and crunchy. They are conveniently shaped for dunking into a hot beverage on a chilly, grey morning. And they are almost always…

Pão de Queijo – Brazilian Cheese Bread

If you have been to Brazilian churrascarias, you may be familiar with pão de queijo or Brazilian cheese bread. The warm and chewy buns are usually served as a snack, appetizer or side dish. And there are many variations of it around the world. Some of the earliest recipes go all the way back to…

Istanbul Culinary Diaries

Sometimes we go to places that bring us memories we didn’t know we had; places that teach us more about who we are and what we are meant to do. Travel could not have a more important purpose. My most recent culinary journey was to Turkey, where I was taken away by the energy of…

Basbousa Bil Joz – Semolina Pastry Stuffed with Walnuts

In Lebanon, there is a rich semolina pastry known as ma’moul mad (a fragrant semolina cookie bar filled with nuts, date paste, or clotted cream.) In other parts of the Levant, a similar concept is called basbousa bil joz (semolina cake stuffed with walnuts.) In Gaza, for example, kunafa ghazawiya or kunafa arabiya is the…

Koshari – Egyptian Pasta, Lentil, and Rice Dish

Koshari is a popular Egyptian street food  consisting of hearty lentils, chickpeas, pasta, rice, warm spices, and deeply caramelized onions. It has made its way to kitchens across the Levant and is considered a staple throughout the region. It is difficult not to like a dish with so many desirable flavors. The ingredients are everything…

Banana and Dulce de Leche Cake

This dulce de leche and banana cake is an upgraded version of the traditional flavors of banana bread. Dulce de leche, which translates to “milk candy,” is the Latin version of caramel, only milder, creamier, and nuttier. It is bound to make anything paired with it utterly irresistible. So, you can probably imagine a proper…

Turkish Poached Eggs with Labneh | Cilbir

One of my favorite ways to start the day is with this ancient dish of rich and creamy labneh topped with poached eggs, melted chili butter, and sumac. The flavors and technique of this breakfast are reminiscent of my childhood. Labneh or yogurt infused with garlic and paired with runny eggs and Levantine spices –…

Lazy Cake Orange and Pistachio Truffles

Lazy cake orange and pistachio truffles. Fragrant, sweet, citrusy, and decadent, these truffles could not be any more characteristic of the winter season. They are also made up of basic cupboard ingredients, to fulfill your chocolate cravings whenever you fancy. INGREDIENTS/ MAKES ABOUT 24 TRUFFLES 7 oz./ 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk 1 tablespoon unsalted…