Results tagged tahini from David Lebovitz

How to Eat a Falafel in Lebanon

falafel abou rami

Pull up at roadside stand.

falafel menu

Be happy you’re with people who speak Arabic.

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Tahini and Almond Cookies

tahini cookies

It was a treat to spend a tasty afternoon in Tel Aviv with Natalie Levin, of the blog Oogio.net, who is a passionate baker. Upon meeting, one of the first things Natalie did was hand over a bag of homemade treats, which included a sack of these Tahini and Almond Cookies. Although I didn’t dive in right away (to be polite), after we visited the outdoor market, when I got back to my hotel, I opened the bag and found myself in love with the crumbly, buttery texture and the slightly exotic taste of smooth tahini (sesame paste) – which I’d never had in a cookie. There was also a bag of Sahlab Cookies, made from powdered orchid root, which were equally divine, as well as a few other goodies.

These are simple little cookies that would go perfect alongside a fresh fruit salad or a bowl of sorbet, or during tea-time. I asked Natalie if she would share the Tahini and Almond Cookie recipe here on the site, which she was happy to do.

Thanks Natalie! – David


Tahini and Almond Cookies

tahini cookies

There’s something exciting about baking. Combining all kinds of tastes and textures, putting it in the oven, and waiting for that moment when the scent draws you back into the kitchen – is probably why I love it so much. This is my true passion in life, and ever since I began baking professionally, it felt as if I found my destiny.

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Israeli Breakfast

shakshuka

I’m not at my best in the morning. Actually, I’m not at my best until at least 2pm. (Although actually, some might argue it’s even a little later.) To me, breakfast is meant to be enjoyed in monk-like solitude. It’s a time where questions are prohibited and talking should be kept to an absolute minimum.

eggplant with whipped cheese

Travel, of course, is fraught with all sorts of ways designed to thwart my precious few moments of quietude in the morning. There’s waking up in hotel rooms and stumbling toward the breakfast room, where unfamiliar people await, sometimes wanting to actually engage with you. What’s up with that?

david and bagels

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The Hummus Factory

eggplant, tahini, parsley

Almost all of the people I spoke with said they rarely make their own hummus, simply because the store-bought stuff was as good – if not better – than what they could make at home. (I guess it helps to think of it like peanut butter, where the homemade is very good, but store-bought will suffice.) People have very strong opinions about hummus, like they do about other things, in Israel. And if you mention a particular brand, or a place that makes it, you’re likely going to be told – with absolute certainty – that there’s another one, or place, that’s definitely better.

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Haj Kahil

fried cheese

When I left the restaurant Haj Kahil after lunch, I said to someone – “That was the best day of my life.” When Erin, who was dining next to me, took a bite of the fried Halloumi cheese, her whole body softened, her eyes dimmed, and she looked as if she had been lulled into a trance.

Labna with wild mustardpomagranite juicefried haloumi cheesewaiter at Haj Khil

And when someone tried to talk to her, she said – “I’m sorry. I’m just…having…a…moment..with…this….cheese…”

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Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Lemon-Tahini Dressing

wild rice salad

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to use up things I already have in the cupboard, plus eat seasonally, plus make things that are relatively easy to make – and this salad fit the bill on all counts. It combines tahini with wild rice and used up some of the marvelous root vegetables that I can’t help buying at the market, even though I should be using up what I’ve already got on hand. It’s not the prettiest salad in the world, but compared to what I didn’t show you of my refrigerator, that bowl should be hanging in the Louvre.

Speaking of which, I’m only going to give you a glimpse of my jam-packed refrigerator (and I mean literally, there are over a dozen jars of assorted jams in there) because I don’t want my refrigerator scrutinized. Not that I’m ashamed of having a bottle of bbq sauce and some store-bought feta, but, well, my refrigerator is sort of a disaster at the moment, and I’m hoping to take care of that shortly. (Although I’ve been saying that since November…of 2007.)

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Baba Ganoush Recipe

French people often drink apéritifs before dinner, but rarely cocktails. Americans who come to Paris are often perplexed when the waiter asks them: “Vous desirez un apéritif?” and a few minutes later, they’re handed a glass of red Martini & Rossi instead of the straight-up, dry martini that they thought they had ordered.

And another heads-up: tourists are equally perplexed when the check arrives and they find that that dinky demi-flute of kir Royale costs more than their main course.

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Hummus Recipe

hummus1

I began my cooking career at a vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca, New York. Although you’ve probably heard of the other vegetarian restaurant in town, I worked up the hill at the Cabbagetown Café. While we weren’t as famous, the food was quite good. (I say we were better, but I’m somewhat biased). I guess the public agreed since by the time we opened the door each day for lunch and dinner, there was already a line down the sidewalk of hungry locals and regulars waiting to get in.

We cooked everything from scratch from produce brought to us by farmers in the area, directly, before it was trendy or cool to pat ourselves on that back and write an article about it.

We just did it.

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