Lebanese Recipes

Rolled cabbage / grape leaves

1 head of cabbage
2 cups uncooked rice
1 small onion finely chopped
1 cup parsley finely chopped
Garlic- chopped and whole
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dried mint or 1/2 cup fresh mint finely chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
A heavy dutch oven (pot) with a tight fitting top is used for cooking.

The cabbage leaves / grape leaves are blanched quickly in hot water to make them pliable. Allow to drain. Remove thick part of vein with a knife.
Mix rice, onion, parsley, salt and pepper.
Place heaping tablespoon of mixture on thick part of cabbage, roll
Place layer of cabbage / grape leave on bottom of pot
Gently compact rolls when placing in pan, alternating direction of layers, place 1 table spoon or so of chopped garlic betwen layers.
Mash mint, 4 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp of salt, stir in lemon juice and pour over top.
Place a few layers of cabbage leaves over top
Place a dish on top (do this to hold cabbage rolls together)
Add enough water to cover rolls
Cover and cook over medium fire for 20-25 minuter, then simmer over low flame for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked

After cooking and before serving, add a couple of more lemons to the cabbage rolls to brighten the flavor.
To serve, the pot is overturned on a plate.

Note - For some reason, the grape leaves were rolled with the edges folded over so that the finished product was about 4-5 inches long, while the edges of the cabbages were not folded so that each was 6-8 inches long.

Peppers, squash, egg plant stuffed with rice stewed in light tomato

Lebanses cooks will stuff pretty much any vegetable that can be hollowed out (including very hot peppers)

The same rice mixture used in the stuffed cabbage / grape leaves is used to stuff hollowed out squash, peppers and egg plant and it is cooked similarly, except canned tomato is added to the cooking liquid.


Tabbouli uses bulger wheat that swells after it is reconstituted, so a cup of dry bulger makes a large container of tabbouli
If you wish, you can chop all vegetables using a food processor, working in small batches and short pulses to keep from over processing. It is a lot less work than chopping all this stuff, but surely grandma would disapprove

1/2 cup dry bulger
2 - 3 large tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
3 bunches fresh parsley chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped (less if dried mint is used)
Lemon to taste (maybe 2-3 lemons)

The dry bulger is washed in a strainer, then dumped in a bowel and the rest of the ingredients are added. The mixture is placed in a refrigerator for at least 1 hours to cool and to allow the bulger to absorb the juices from the vegetables and to swell. Add salt and adjust lemon to taste.

Serve with lettuce leaves, eat by scooping tabbouli in a lettuce leave and rolling into a loose pouch.

Spinach and Rice
* Kale can be substituted for spinach

1 medium onion chopped
1 lb fresh spinich
2 cloves garlic
1 cup parsley finely chopped
2 tbl dried mint

Onion is cooked on low heat until transparent.
Just before the onion is finished cooking, garlic is added and cooked for a short period, then the mint and spinach are added and cooked until limp.
Add water, rice, salt and pepper - do not stir
Cook over medium high heat until it boils, then lower heat and simmer 15 minutes or so or until the rice is done.

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Roasted egg plant with tahini (Baba Ghannouj)

This is made pretty much like hummous (same ingredients) except egg plant is used that has been roasted over a flame (similar to charring peppers) until the skin is blackened and the egg plant collapses. It can take 15 minutes or so to do this so it is best to use a low flame so that the eggplant collapses before the skin is completely charred. After it cools, the skin is removed and it is mixed with tahini, lemon, garlic, and salt.

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Flat bread with zahtar
* Zaatar is a spice blend comprised of sesame seeds mixed with powdered sumac and dried thyme. Zaatar can be found in Middle Eastern markets.

Basic dough recipe
3 lb flour
1 tblsp salt
1 pkg dry yeast dissolved in warm water
1/4 cup oil
3 1/2 - 4 cups water

Mix ingredients, knead well. Form into 6" balls and dust lightly. Place in bowel and cover with plastic and let rise until doubled. Flatten dough to pie crust thickenss

Form into round flat loaves.

Zaatar topping
1 Tbsp zahtar spice for each loaf
1/2 tsp sesame seed for each loaf

Brush the top of the bread loaves with olive oil and spread zahtar topping evenly on bread. Bake on a cookie sheet in a pre-heated oven at 400 for 20-30 mintues on lowest rack until browned.

Spinach pies

Make same dough used for zaatar, except roll into 2" balls

Spinach filling
1.5 - 2 lbs of fresh spinich
3 lemons
2 onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped

Wash spinach and tear into 2" pieces, sprinkle with salt. Squeeze and drain until all water is removed. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Roll dough out like pie crust. Cut out 4" rounds. Place a heaping tabelspoon of the filling on the rounds and close in shape of a triangle place some spinich mixture in center and fold edges to make a sealed pouch.
Place on an oiled baking pan, brush tops lightly with oil, bake at 375 until lightly browned

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These recipes are available at www.habeeb.com for your enjoyment. If you use the recipes, please give reference to habeeb.com as the source. Thank you.

Bon Apetit, or as they say in Lebanon: Sahhtain (double your health)

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