Grilled Kefta and Pita
Kefta, a popular meat dish in Lebanon, can be cooked in many different forms. What makes kefta so unique (and delicious) is it's a combination of meat, onions, and parsley. In this recipe, I will show you how Eva cooks it right inside of pita. This recipe will require some grilling, but an oven will work just as well!
Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on your kefta in the pita for more deliciousness. This is also great paired with hummus! Enjoy :)
Check out our recipe for kefta without toasted pita here!
If you are a fan of parsley you will love this recipe! Tabouli is a yummy and healthy Lebanese salad. It's extremely flavorful and for me, the best part about tabouli is the taste of the lemon juice. I absolutely love how deliciously the lemon juice blends in with the parsley and tomatoes!
When finding your ingredients for Tabouli, be sure to get bulgar that is more coarse than fine (some supermarkets sell bulgar but it is usually fine and powdery). Fine bulgar will affect your Tabouli's appearance and taste, so be sure to find a bulgar that is coarse. You might have to take a trip to a local Middle Eastern grocery store to find the right type of bulgar.
1. Rinse parsley and lay it out to dry
2. Soak 1/2 cup of bulgar in water for about 15 minutes
3. Bunch the parsley in your hand by lining up the stems together and cut off stems
4. Leaving parsley bunched, chop finely (you can also use a food processor but you may lose the juice from the parsley)
5. Place the chopped parsley in a large mixing bowl, add 3 diced scallions (or onion), and diced tomatoes
6. Once bulgar is soaked, add it to mixture with 5 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 dashes of pepper, 1 tablespoon of salt, 5 tablespoons of lemon juice OR juice from 2 large lemons and toss (remember, spices are to taste so feel free to add more or less)
We love to eat our tabouli on romaine lettuce and also with a side of homemade french fries for an extra treat. Enjoy :)
Cucumber and Greek Yogurt
One word to describe how this tastes: refreshing!
This dish can be eaten alone or used as a dipping sauce. It doesn't really have a specific name that we know of, so we just call it a Cucumber and Yogurt salad. We love eating this on a hot sunny day with grilled foods and pita bread. If you are a fan of plain greek yogurt, you will love this recipe. It's incredibly easy to make! :)
1. Using a pestle or food processor, mince the garlic, salt, and mint together
2. Slice cucumber into round slices or halves
3. Add sliced cucumber and yogurt with the rest of mixture and mix well
That's it! Sahtan! :)
Lunch with Eva
Get to know the blog's inspiration! I set up a lunch date with Eva to ask her a few questions about cooking:
Who’s your favorite person to cook for?
There isn't just one person. My favorite is to cook for my family! I love nothing more than family gatherings. I also love when my kids (now adults) bring their friends over to try my Lebanese food.
How does your cooking technique differ from those you learned from?
I learned from my mother, my grandmother, and my mother-in-law. All three women dedicated a lot of their time to cooking (as many women in Lebanon did). When I had my children, I wanted to keep the Lebanese heritage as much as I could, and for me that meant cooking the traditional Lebanese meals. What made me different from my mother and grandmother is I had a full-time job outside the home. I realized I could still make these meals, but that I had to create some shortcuts to fit my lifestyle.
What’s one piece of advice you can give to your blog visitors?
Some recipes may look complicated, but don’t be discouraged. The first time you make it, it may not look pretty, but it will taste good! Each time you make it, it will look better and better! It took me years to get my chicken and rice to taste exactly like my mother’s, who passed away too young. In those years, it was still delicious, but I really wanted it to taste like I remember.
How would you feel about your blog visitors changing around your recipes?
I take no offense to my visitors making a recipe their own! In Lebanon, every individual has their own way of cooking, and no matter your ethnic background, you still have a say in what makes a recipe work for you.
If you have a question for Eva let us know and your question will be used in the next Lunch with Eva post. :)
Loubieh Bil Zeit
Vegetarians (and everyone else) will love this dish! Loubieh Bil Zeit (green benas with oil) is a Lebanese green bean dish that is simple, healthy, and full of flavor. Enjoy it with some radishes and pita bread!
1. Cut ends and strings off of the green beans and rinse them in water
2. Dice your onion and garlic
3. In a skillet, add olive oil (or more to taste)
4. Once oil is heated, add onions and garlic. Sauté until wilted
5. Once wilted, add green beans, dash of pepper, teaspoon of allspice, teaspoon of salt (spices to taste) and toss
6. Once mixed, simmer on low heat and cover. Should take about 30 minutes until tender
*Optional* If you are adding tomato, dice it and add it to the mixture before covering to simmer