At the popular Middle Eastern place a few blocks from my place, they make a really good Fattoush salad. Fattoush consists of day-old pitas which are no longer good fresh turned into pita chips, plus chopped romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, za’atar spice mixture, parsley, and a lemony dressing. It makes for a nice bowl of differing textures and tangy flavour from the za’atar and lemon. Plus, it’s easy.
Have we ever told you about mujaddara? You have to try it. Its a popular middle eastern dish consisting of lentils, rice, and sweet caramelized onions. Guess what? Its usually vegan, so look for it at your favorite middle eastern place. Or you can make it yourself. We’ve tried a few recipes, but the one we like the best is from Veganomicon.
You just roast sliced onions in oil for half an hour, while cooking the rice and lentils on the stove with cumin and cinnamon. Combine it all when its done, and serve it with some pita chips and salad. This dish also pairs nicely with and assortment of other middle eastern side dishes like hummus, falafel, grape leaves, etc.
We served it with a side of sauteed kale, and some fresh veggies. Check out those tomatoes! We grew those on our balcony.
Unlike the Greek moussaka which is a casserole, Lebanese style is more like a thick stew. This delicious and comes together in a snap. We love the smoky flavour of eggplant and that flavour really shines in this. This is really great warm or at room temperature.
Recipe is at Messy Vegetarian Cook.
The Covent Garden Market in London, Ontario features food from around the world; Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Polish, Serbian, and Middle Eastern, to name a few. This weekend we stopped at Nate’s for the falafel plate (as seen below) and a side order of vine leaves, or grape leaves (pictured above). This ended up being way too much food for us to eat.
For the unfamiliar, the grape leaves are stuffed with rice and spices. Weird spices, too. There has to be some mint in there. They are then marinated in a brine, and eaten warm. They are delicious, but definitely an acquired taste for the Western palette. The falafel plate includes not only deep fried falafel, but some garlic hummus, roasted potatoes, and a lentil dish which we think was Mujadarra. Delicious lunch.