All posts tagged arabic

  • pomegranate walnut tabbouleh

    pomegranate tabbouli parsley walnuts

    My CSA share this week included a monstrous pile of parsley. Half of it was frozen into ice cubes for future soups, some of it went into a frittata, a handful was stirred into a tomato sauce that was served with polenta, but I wanted to make sure the rest of it a chance to shine on its own. I set out to make tabbouleh, but things did not go according to plan once I went shopping. I passed on the tomatoes for a gorgeous pomegranate and bulgur was nowhere to be found, so I went home and made something that wasn’t quite authentic tabbouleh, but sort of  a transition into fall tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a Lebanese salad, made primarily with parsley and a handful of mint, with flecks of bulgur (cracked wheat), chopped tomatoes, and coated with a lemon and olive oil dressing that begs to be sopped up with copious amounts of bread. It’s not uncommon to see tabbouleh recipes that use couscous, quinoa, or millet instead of bulgur, but I used crushed walnuts here. Since discovering pomegranate and walnut stew a few years ago, I’ve learned that pomegranates and walnuts make a great pair.

    This makes a good side dish to just about any Middle Eastern meal, but it’s especially delicious with a little tahini sauce or hummus rolled up in a piece of flat bread. I’d say this serves 6 to 8 as a side dish, but I keep sneaking into the kitchen several times a day to take bites out of it straight from the container, so who knows. It’s almost gone and I’m already itching to make another batch.

    Pomegranate Walnut Tabbouleh
    Note: to avoid soggy tabbouleh, let the parsley and mint dry before chopping. This can be done with a strainer and paper towels, but a salad spinner will be your best friend here.

    2 cups flat leaf parsley, chopped
    1/4 cup mint, chopped
    1/2 red onion, diced
    seeds (arils) of one pomegranate
    1/3 cup walnuts, crushed
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon sumac
    1/8 teaspoon allspice
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Chop the parsley, mint, and onions with your sharpest knife. De-seed pomegranate. Place the walnuts in a mortar and crush them with a pestle (or give them a whirl in your food processor). Juice lemon. In a large bowl, mix together the parsley, mint, pomegranate, walnuts, olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, sumac, allspice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper until fully incorporated. Give the mixture a taste and add more lemon juice and salt, if necessary. Serve with your favorite Middle Eastern dish or as part of a mezze. Delicious both at room temperature and cold.

    Serves about 6-8 as a side

  • middle eastern meatballs with hummus

    middle eastern meatballs with hummus and rice 2

    Earlier this week, I wanted hummus. So I made some… 4.89 pounds of it, to be exact (I promise I’ll return your kitchen scale someday, dad). I didn’t mean to make that much, but I threw a bunch of chickpeas in a bowl to soak the night before and I was determined to use them all. Even though I really wanted hummus, I didn’t have any specific plans for it. We don’t keep enough bread and vegetables on hand to eat 5 pounds of it just as a snack, so I brainstormed other ideas. I really enjoy hummus in wraps, so why not use it as a sauce? First, I made one of my go-to recipes, mujaddara (rice and lentil pilaf with caramelized onions), served with copious amounts of hummus to mix into our bowls. Then I made these super flavorful meatballs, recipe below. Served with rice, it makes for a filling and satisfying meal.

    Aaaaaand we still have plenty of leftover hummus. Do you have any ideas how I should use the rest of it? You just might find me sitting in a corner with bread, bowls of olive oil, za’atar, and hummus and eating it all until I explode.

    middle eastern meatballs with hummus and rice

    Middle Eastern Meatballs
    Makes about 40 meatballs

    1 small onion, minced
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon salt
    pepper, to taste
    2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    1 tablespoon sumac
    2 teaspoons dried mint
    1 teaspoon thyme
    1 teaspoon coriander
    1/2 teaspoon allspice
    1/4 teaspoon cardamon
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 pounds ground lamb or beef (I used a mix of the two)
    1 cup bread crumbs
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/4 cup tomato sauce

    For serving:
    sumac, for sprinkling
    thyme, for sprinkling
    more sesame seeds, for sprinkling

    Pre-heat oven to 450 F.

    Heat skillet with oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic and cook for another 30 or seconds, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture into a large bowl.

    Add the salt, pepper, and spices to the bowl and stir to combine. Add ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, and tomato sauce into the bowl and keep stirring until thoroughly combined. You may need to use your hands.

    Use a tablespoon to scoop out enough meat for one ball, form the meat into the shape of a ball with your hands. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lightly brushed with oil. Repeat… about 40 or so more times. You may need to use two baking sheets if you want to bake these all at once.

    Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with hummus, sumac, thyme, more sesame seeds, rice, and/or bread.

    Serves 6-8