I was invited today to a truly Lebanese feast at a Lebanese home. The hostess, cooking for her family for over four decades, put an impressive spread for just five of us (including her) attending.
The lunch began with a huge bowl of Tabouleh and a large platter of Humus.
As the hostess rightly pointed out, these two platters are the first (and a must) to show up on a Lebanese dinner table. We then progressed to three Mehshi (a search on the word on this blog will give you few entries describing those). The Mehshi selection included:
Selek (chard - picture on the left), Warak (vine leaves) and Kousa (zucchini).
There were also small Lebanese spinach pies. These were hand made with a very delicate flour and oil dough and stuffed with a mixture of spinach, onions and spices.
I know one loyal somerville kitchen follower who adores those and I bet she is really craving those right now - they were excellent.
Another part of the feast was the Lebanese-style grilled chicken - marinated with garlic, olive oil and thyme.
Chicken is served with a garlic dip (bottom corner of the picture). This is simply crushed garlic and canola oil whipped into a mayonnaise-style texture. Garlic lovers will fall heads over heals over this dip.
But my favourite part of the meal is Kebbeh Nayeh. If you do a Kebbeh search on this blog, you'd see several versions of this dish. This was a raw meat version and one of my favourite Lebanese dishes that I am not able to figure out how to make it myself. I typically eat it when I travel to Lebanon so it was a special treat to have it here today.
Our hostess comes from a Lebanese northern town that is famous for their Kebbeh. As such, this was a perfectly made platter, so perfect that I ate half of what you see above on my own.
We were on the table over two hours!
What a lovely generous feast, delicious food and great company.
Thank you Susan!