Tag Archives: Lebanese recipes

Fried eggplant with tomato onions

25 Mar

As a child Woman was scarred by eggplant. Her father would fry up what seemed like mountains of eggplant on the barbeque. I don’t know why this scarred her, but it just seemed there was always a lot.

But Woman has been rehabilitated to fried eggplant. Fried eggplant, in moderation, is very, very good. (It’s hiding in this picture behind the vineleaves and lentils.. oh mezze, how I love you)

Fried eggplant with tomato onions (serves 2 as part of a mezze)

  • 1/2 eggplant (medium size) cut into slices
  • 1/4 C chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 small white onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 tsp thyme

Heat olive oil in pan and cook onion until soft and browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the pan, add a bit more olive oil and cook eggplants on each side for about three minutes or until very soft. Remove from pan. Set on plate.

Throw cooked onion back into the pan with tomatoes and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have become less watery. Serve on top of fried eggplant.

Estimated cost: £1

Musical accompaniment: John Grant

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Stuffed vine leaves with yoghurt tahini sauce

14 Mar

Woman is nearly becoming a woman of a certain age. That age being 30. Woah.

The day after she turned 29, she fashioned herself a list of 30 things to do before she turns 30. Generally, it’s a typical list: career goals, travel KPIs, 10km race targets, extreme sports commitments and, you know, learning to play the accordion. Among the orthodox hit list, are some exceptionally lame inclusions. One being the home made manufacture of stuffed vine leaves.

This recipe is modified from the totally brilliant From the Tables of Lebanon veggie cookbook. It’s such an un-photogenic (there are no photos) cook book, Man Woman love it. Everything we’ve cooked from it has been good. Lebanese!

Making your own stuffed vine leaves is not as time-consuming or difficult as Woman thought – otherwise she wouldn’t have put it off for so many years. It is, though, something you definitely want to make in bulk because once you start you get a whole production line thing happening.

Stuffed vine leaves (makes 18)

  • 1 packet of vine leaves in brine
  • 1 C short grain rice
  • 2/3 C tinned chopped tomato (or 1.5 tomatoes)
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1/2 C parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp allspice powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP dried mint

Combine all ingredients bar the vine leaves in a bowl.

In the middle of each vine leaf (rinse before using), place a tablespoon sized log-shaped dollop. Roll over once, tuck the sides in and continue rolling.

When all are rolled, line an oiled heavy-bottomed pot with thin sices of potatoes. Stack vine leaves in layers, cover with 1.5 cups of water (and salt) and top with a heat-proof plate (like terracotta).

Bring to a boil, then simmer for a further 40 minutes.

Don’t discard the potatoes! They’re some kind of wonderful on their own, and I’m sure the Lebanese wouldn’t throw them away.

Yoghurt tahini sauce

  • 1.5 TBSP tahini
  • 2 TBSP yoghurt
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP water
  • salt

Mix water, tahini, salt and lemon juice first with a fork or whisk. When combined, add yoghurt and combine.

Estimated cost (with sauce): £2

Musical accompaniment: Noah and the Whale

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