My father is Palestinian: my mother Lebanese. My roots are in Olive and Cedar trees.
I love the Middle East. I used to spend my summers in Southern Lebanon as a child, swimming in the Mediterranean, picking up jelly-fish and putting them on the hot rocks, returning 10 minutes later to see how they’ve morphed into bubbling silly putty. I’m sick I know
Ah, my summers in Sidon…Those are my favorite memories of my life. Spending hours with my grandmother, picking vegetables from the market, drinking coffee with neighbors, playing soccer with the kids on the street, smelling the pastries from the cafe attached to our building below. I love Lebanon, and a big part of my cooking is a way for me to reconnect with my family, remind myself that although I am here in Boston, my roots reach the Middle East.
Instead of a recipe for this blog, I am simply going to recommend that everyone try a delicious daily snack:
Za’atar– A blend of roasted sesame seeds and dried spices that can be used in many different recipes. Traditionally, you can simply pour za’atar on a plate and mix it with olive oil, so that it is a thin (or thick, depending on your taste) consistency. Eat with toasted Pita Bread, and (my favorite) sliced feta and cucumber.
Each country has their own way of making Za’atar, and everyone will tell you their nation’s za’atar is the best. I personally like Jordanian Za’atar the most. But i’m open to discussion.
My trip to Lebanon this past summer:
And then there was more trees…
and my grandmother…
and of course, food : )