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Why Lebanese Cuisine Should Make Its Way into Your Kitchen

Lebanese cuisine is amongst the freshest and tastiest in the world – so why wouldn’t you start introducing it to your own kitchen? Grilled meats like shawarma, gorgeous pastries like baklava, even the classic combination of pita bread and babaghannouj, are all memorable Lebanese dishes that you can serve right at home.


The Lebanese Essentials

Before you embark on your Lebanese odyssey, there are some basic ingredients that you should have close to hand.

Olives: Olive oil, and olives as they are, heavily present in Lebanese menus. There are over 170,000 olive producers in Lebanon because there is clearly a market for them! Olives and olive oil help to lower our ‘bad’ cholesterol and raise our ‘good’ cholesterol.

Onions & Garlic: Onions are an integral part of Lebanese stews, and garlic is undoubtedly the most common flavouring. You can find it in dips, sauces, pesto and stews.

Lemons: Lemons and lemon juice are another crucial components of Lebanese food. You’ll need copious lemon juice to make a truly tangy, tasty hummus or fresh tabouli.

Herbs & Spices: The essential herbs and spices you’ll need for authentic Lebanese dishes include mint, coriander, cinnamon, sumac, and parsley.

Easy Lebanese Meals

Amongst the best dishes to attempt as a beginner are:

Kafta – Lebanese mince meat skewers made of lamb or beef.

Babaghannouj – creamy eggplant dip that’s perfect with a piece of soft pita bread.

Tabouli – the vegetarian salad that consists of finely chopped parsley, Bulgar wheat, tomatoes, mint, onion, with lemon juice and olive oil mixed through (delicious!)

Shawarma – juicy, well-seasoned grilled meats.

Tabouli Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 handful of mint leaves
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp fine bulgar wheat
  • 3-4 diced tomatoes
  • 2 white onions finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Finely shred the parsley and mint.
  • Juice the lemons and pour over the bulgur wheat and set aside to soften for ten minutes.
  • Combine the parsley, mint, soften bulgar wheat, tomato and onion in a bowl.
  • Season with salt & pepper, add olive oil and mix.
  • Add more olive oil and/or lemon juice according to taste.

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