Salata Arabia

When I eat this salad I am transported back to the Jordan Valley, where I spend a lot of time with farmers who are being supported by the livelihoods programme I run.  As I get out of the car at 8am into the perfectly dry heat, I am ushered over to an upturned pallet that has a bowl of this salad on it with a plate of Labneh, fresh and warm bread and sweet sweet tea.  They grow all the ingredients for this salad right here; fresh and proud.  I sigh with relief as I have missed breakfast to get here so early, I have been in the car for hours.  I tuck in, while hearing about how things have been since my last visit.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

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The Stuffed King (Stuffed Baby Aubergine in Tomato Sauce)

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Stuffed vegetables are a very popular in the Middle East; stuffed zucchini, aubergine, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, vine leaves and more. The most common in my house growing up where aubergine, zucchini, vine leaves and cabbage. My Mama could spend hours making large pots of these stuffed vegetables that could last from hours to days. They are a real family favourite. While these are usually stuffed with meat and rice, I have made mine vegetarian and a lot more nutritious.

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Organic Walnut & Chili Labaneh Dip

 

Labaneh is a real favourite in Palestine. It is traditionally a breakfast dish, but is eaten throughout the day as a snack or as part of an evening meal of mezze. As I explained in a previous post, It comes in a few different textures; creamy and smooth like a dip, thick and textured like a spread or hard and dry like a cheese. You can make all three varieties very easily at home and the only thing that differentiates them is the number of hours you strain the yogurt for (12 hours for the dip, 19 hours for the spread, 24 hours for the cheese).

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Buckwheat Stuffed Round Zucchini

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As I have said in a previous post, I was practically raised on traditional Palestinian stuffed vegetables. They are my favourite thing to eat, and they represent the perfect joining of childhood memories from my past with my desire to have a healthy, organic plant based diet of my present. These stuffed vegetables are my favourite things to recreate and also the hardest as the originals are just so delicious.

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Brunch Foul

Foul is a breakfast dish, served in a large communal bowl for the whole family to dip into and scoop from using warm bread. My Mama always made it for brunch at the weekends, and in fact she still does when we are all home together. I usually make it as a light weekend lunch.

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Vegetarian Vine Leaves

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It is very likely that you have had stuffed vine leaves before, either in a Greek or Lebanese restaurant. It’s likely that they were cold, lemony, loosely rolled and vegetarian. As nice as they are, they are nothing like Palestinian Stuffed vine leaves, which are traditionally stuffed with lamb, rice and spices, tightly rolled and served piping hot as a main meal with yoghurt. Mine are a wonderfully healthy, nutritious and delicious variation of the Palestinian variety.

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Labaneh & Za’atar Tartine

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Labaneh is a wonderful strained yoghurt from the Middle East, popular as a breakfast and snack dish. It comes in a few different textures; creamy and smooth like a dip, thick and textured like a spread or hard and dry like a cheese. You can make all three varieties very easily at home and the only thing that differentiates them is the number of hours you strain the yogurt for (12 hours for the dip, 19 hours for the spread, 24 hours for the cheese).

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Mama’s Baba Ghanoush (Aubergine Dip)

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Baba Ghanoush is increasingly popular in the UK, throughout Europe and North America. This makes me very happy as I want people to eat it, and I also want them to try my recipe. The way I make it is a very traditional way that the women in my family have been making it for generations right at the heart of where the dish originates from. I remember the delicious smoky smell of chargrilled aubergines wafting through the warm air of our house when I would return from school.

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Brave Baklawa

 

Do you remember my brother, Ewan, who made me a lunchtime falafel wrap? Remember how I told you he was a really good in the kitchen? Well, he made me Baklawa last week, so naturally I photographed him and pinched his recipe to post here for all you wonderful people. These aren’t my Mother’s recipe. When I told her we had made them, she said we were very ‘brave’. She normally gets them from a Middle Eastern bakery, or her local Waitrose. But, I encourage you to be brave and make them.

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