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herbs

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pasta-with-almonds1

Pasta salad with fresh green almonds and Mediterranean herbs

It’s been a pleasant, sunny and slightly chilly spring, but spring nonetheless. And as the seasons change, the market is offering the first springtime and summer fruits — namely, stone fruits. That includes loquats, a few too-solid peaches and nectarines, and green almonds. Yes, green almonds — generally grown for …

salad-with-figs2

Green salad with figs and herb-yogurt dressing

As Rosh Hashana approaches, the many symbols of the holiday are again appearing in the markets. There are plump pomegranates bursting with seeds, and juicy green and purple figs, one of the biblical seven species. OK, figs have actually been in season for a while now, but as the holiday …

chestnut-squash-wild-rice

Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice and walnuts

No people, this isn’t a winter vegetable, at least not in Israel. Indeed, its vibrant yellow flesh sings of summer. And what better way to serve a summer vegetable than stuffed with fresh herbs? These little acorn squash — known as chestnut squash in Hebrew — are not among the …

Jerusalem-zaatar1

Meet Jerusalem zaatar

It’s not so common that I find something new and surprising at the shook, which makes it all the more exciting when it does happen. Poking my nose through one of the herb stands last week, I found a new, unfamiliar leaf. It looked like tarragon. I asked what it …

zaatar-yogurt-dip

Herbed yogurt dip with chives and zaatar

This dip won over a self-proclaimed hater of zaatar (my husband) and another self-proclaimed hater of herbs (a good friend). Zaatar is quite popular in this part of the Middle East, and is frequently sold as a dry spice mix, which also includes sesame and sumac (and sometimes salt). But …

seared-eggplant1

Simple mezze salad: Eggplant dip with thyme and parsley

It doesn’t get much easier than this. You roast an eggplant, mix it with mayo, and season with chopped herbs. Then you eat it. This is pretty much a Middle Eastern babaganush with a Western twist. The mayonnaise makes it creamier than usual, and the thyme adds an unusual flavor …

lentil-salad-cafe-liz

Lentil salad with cranberries and thyme

I came to the market a little too late on a recent Friday. It was all of 4 P.M., but half the stands were closed. Discarded vegetables lined the path, as greengrocers dumped unwanted produce before the weekend. Piles of lettuce leaves that came to my waist. Boxes of mushy …

tahini-spread-cafe-liz

Simple mezze: Tahini with roasted pepper and herbs

I’m not sure I cracked the secret of the secret tahini, but my not-so-secret version is good nonetheless. A few days ago, we were at a vegetarian restaurant called Mezze for the first time. The restaurant isn’t new; how it is that it took us so long to visit a …

israeli-salad-cafe-liz

Israeli chopped salad

There’s nothing more debilitating to a food blogger than having no appetite. And frankly, in this oppressive summer heat, not only have I not wanted to cook, I haven’t even wanted to eat. I have a theory that when your body needs less energy to warm itself, you don’t need …

stuffed-eggplant-cafe-liz

Eggplants stuffed with herbs and rice

Here in the Levant we like to stuff things. It’s a habit picked up by all the places that used to be part of the Ottoman empire and its neighbors. Because rice is never so good as when it’s cooked packed inside a vegetable, and picks up its flavors and …