Food Friday: “Simply Lebanese”

Every Friday, we at Casemate IPM bring you a delicious recipe hand-selected from one of the many cookery books we distribute. You should definitely try this at home!

This week, we’re taking a trip to the Middle East and introducing you to the exotic flavors of Lebanon! Garnet Publishing’s Simply Lebanese is filled with traditional recipes and beautiful photography, and we couldn’t be more excited to share one of these delicious dishes with you.

9781859641354Book Synopsis: Ina’am Atalla introduces us to the exotic flavors and colors of Lebanese cuisine using an abundance of wholesome ingredients, combined with fresh herbs and subtle spices to make delicious and healthy dishes. This book is the product of her wealth of experience and her desire to dispel the complexities and mysteries surrounding Middle Eastern cookery by using simple techniques and easily available ingredients. With her obvious enthusiasm, the author inspires the reader to attempt a variety of easy-to-follow recipes, from the simplest soup to the more complicated main course, and from traditional recipes such as tabbouleh and kibbeh to the more unusual and creative variations that have been developed by her for the menu at her restaurant. The reader’s level of expertise is immaterial: supplemented by beautiful color photography, Ina’am’s anecdotes and tips for the cook create the illusion that this is a personal cookery lesson between author and reader, while the book as a whole remains simply a pleasure to read.

9789953880778For those of you who are familiar with the official language of Lebanon, we also distribute a hardback version of this cookbook written entirely in Arabic! This edition includes all the same delicious recipes and appetizing photographs as the English version, described in the language native to the culture from which they hail. The ISBN for this title is 9789953880778.

This week’s recipe is a Lebanese staple: Fattoush. This summery salad is perfect as a side dish for a barbecue, or as a light lunch during the week.

Fattoush is the most important salad in Lebanese cuisine. The texture varies according to how you chop the vegetables, but one should aim for a chunky effect. The dressing will remain the same, with sumac as the main ingredient. Pomegranate seeds contribute to the contrast of textures and add sweetness.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

2 beef tomatoes or 4 salad tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 small cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 Cos lettuce, roughly chopped
1 bunch radishes (about 10), halved
1 green pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
75 g (3 oz) flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
50 g (2 oz) fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
3 spring onions, roughly chopped

For the dressing
2 teaspoons sumac
1 teaspoon dried mint
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
25 ml (1 fl oz) red wine vinegar
75 ml (3 fl oz) lemon juice
110 ml (4 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

To garnish
2 tablespoons croutons
75 g (3 oz) pomegranate seeds

  1. Place the tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, radishes, peppers, parsley, and mint in a bowl.
  2. In a screw top jar, mix the sumac, dried mint, sugar, salt, vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Then pour over and toss the salad.
  3. Scatter in the croutons and pomegranate seeds and serve.

The finished product! (Photo and all recipe text from Simply Lebanese)

We hope you enjoy this recipe. Tell us how your dishes turn out in the comments! For more delicious Lebanese cuisine, purchase your copy of Simply Lebanese here.

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