Tabbouleh

Growing up, there wasn’t a BBQ, Party or event that mama was cooking for where she didn’t serve Tabbouleh. this is as traditional and authentic as it gets. In the 35 years I have been eating it, it hasn’t changed a because its just perfect… and so reassuring.

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Garlicky green bean and rice salad

I hate to write this, but I always used to struggle visiting with distant relatives- apart from the wonderful maza always laid out. I was always so shy and felt so awkward having to be on best behavior, listening to endless stories about people I didn’t know and unable to keep track of how we were all related; Mama’s cousins, and cousins cousins and uncles etc. all the generations mixed in age but the custom to marry young and having seemingly endless children. along with the endless jokes and laughter was the inevitable anger and theorizing about the political situation in Palestine, Mama’s family are all well educated and politically active and so everyone has to say their bit- always followed by a pitiful silence of regret, fear and sadness that even now fills me with dread.

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Summer Muttabal

Look, I actually think that regular muttabal is perfect in the summer. I just want to make that clear. However, this version is utterly perfect in the summer with a BBQ and treated like a salad more than a dip. Spoon heaps of it onto your plate to eat with your BBQ kofta, grilled fish and garlicky BBQ vegetables and it is perfect. while still smoky, its somehow brighter and fresher than our usual- and incredibly popular- muttabal.

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Pink Pickled Turnips

If I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t make these myself at home if I lived somewhere I could easily get them.  However, in the English home counties if you want to eat pink pickled turnips, then you have to make them yourself.  I love mine in falafel sandwiches or next to my foul and fried halloumi over brunch or even chopped into fattoush salad.  However, my mother eats them every day with most meals and throughout the day as snack.  So eat and enjoy.

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