Cookbook:Cuisine of Lebanon
Lebanese Cuisine consists of a variety of fresh vegetarian recipes, salads and stews all seasoned with a flavoursome combination of herbs and spices. One of the most widely recognised Lebanese specialties is called Maza, also written "Mezze", which is a selection of appetizers: olives, cheeses, Labanee, or small portions also known as muqabbilat (starters).
The cuisine of Lebanon includes an abundance of starches, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat, and when red meat is eaten it is usually lamb. The cuisine also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice - nary a meal goes by in Lebanon that does not include these ingredients. Most often foods are either grilled, baked or sauted in olive oil; butter or cream is rarely used other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw or pickled as well as cooked. While the cuisine of Lebanon doesn't boast an entire repertoire of sauces, it focuses on herbs, spices and the freshness of ingredients; the assortment of dishes and combinations are almost limitless. The meals are full of robust, earthy flavors and, like most Mediterranean countries, much of what the Lebanese eat is dictated by the seasons.
Types of Recipes
- Garlic Lemon Chicken Slow cooked chicken with a lemon/garlic marinade.
- Chicken Shawarma Chicken heavily marinated in yoghurt and various spices in a yoghurt and tahini sauce wrapped in a pita with tomato.
- Sheik el Mahshi Eggplant with lamb, tomato and pine nuts
- Warak Dawali Grape leaves stuffed with lamb, rice and tomatoes
- Lamb Shawarma Lamb heavily marinated in yoghurt and various spices in a yoghurt and tahini sauce wrapped in a pita with tomato.
Mezzah (Lebanese appetizers)
- Hommos (Hummous) Mashed chickpeas (US: garbanzo beans) with Tahina
- Moutabbal (Baba Ghannouj) Mashed eggplant with tahini/tahina
- Balila Peas
- Sawda nayyeh (sawda nayyeh) or Asbeh Nayyeh raw lamb liver with some white meat and special spices include black pepper, cumin and dried flower petals. Served raw with pepper, chili, mint, salt. Sawda nayyeh is the best companion with the Lebanese Home made Liquor ARAK.
Yogourt (Dishes cooked with yoghurt)
- Batata Harra Potatoes, red peppers, coriander, chilli, and garlic, Cut the potatoes in small square like pieces with the size of your thumb, deep fry these potatoes until cooked, then dry them from fried oil, then add them to the already fried coriander and garlic in an open pan, stir them for 7 min, add the chili and salt. Best eaten with pita bread.
- Moujadara Lentils, burghal wheat and onions
- Ma'amoul pastries filled with dates or nuts.