Freekeh, Lentil, and Parsley Pilaf

Sometimes, very early on Saturday morning, when the spirit moves me, and I have time, I get on the bike and go exploring the Judean hills.

Since it is Saturday morning the road is quite empty, I only encounter farmers tending to their small plots of land. This is a good opportunity to purchase freshly-harvested local freekeh.  

Freekeh is wheat that is still green. It needs to be roasted before it can be cooked.

The green wheat berries are slow roasted over coals in their hulls. Then, the peel is rubbed off. The roasting imparts a smoky flavor to the freekeh. I cook it like rice. Here is my recipe.

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Oven-Roasted Pumpkin

If you plant pumpkins in your garden, this is the time of year that they all ripen. What to do with all of them?

Once you cut a pumpkin open, you need to use it pretty quickly, because it will not keep fresh for long. The best thing to do is invite your friends and family to dinner and make sweet and spicy roasted pumpkin.

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Simple Eggplant Salad

Summer is the peak season for eggplants, and the perfect time to prepare a roasted eggplant salad. This dish is perfect for a picnic basket to enjoy on a leisurely summer day.

The quality of an eggplant can be discerned by its shell. The peel should be shiny and taut — this is how you know that it is fresh. You can estimate how many seeds an eggplant has by its weight: the heavier it is, the more seeds it has.
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Salmon In Pastry

A perfectly elegant dish for springtime is salmon in pastry. It is easy to prepare and a wonderful crowd pleaser. All you need is good quality salmon and frozen puff pastry.

I buy the best quality salmon I can find. Salmon does not live in the Mediterranean sea, so I have to buy it frozen. I purchase salmon that has been flash-frozen on the fishing boat. I leave it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost, then I prepare my tasty treat.
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Cauliflower With Breadcrumbs, Almonds and Raisins

Every time I go shopping I am tempted to buy cauliflower. For some reason, I have a lot of sympathy for cauliflower. It is not as popular as peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, or eggplants.  

Today I am going to make cauliflower with Panko breadcrumbs, almonds, and raisins.  This is a delicious way to prepare this classic winter vegetable

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Sinaia: Meat and Tahini Casserole

palestinian meat sinaiaFor the second week, I am getting through without smoking.

Memories from the last time I tried this made me believe that the task will be more difficult this time. On the one hand it’s encouraging, but then I think to myself that it really is not that complicated. What is the urgency in quitting? Why not smoke again?

Luckily I can transfer these lecherous thoughts to the kitchen.  Today I am thinking about a traditional Middle Eastern dish of seasoned ground meat baked with tahini sauce. Before we begin I should make one thing clear: Sinaia is entirely about the quality of the meat and the grinding. There is no choice but to grind it at home. I asked my wife if she would be able to stop by the best butcher we know to buy some meat.
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