Artichokes are from the wonderful plant that is related to the gracious antique acanthus leaves that adorned Roman Corinthian capitals scattered all over Baalbeck and other Roman temples and ruins in Lebanon.
Loubyieh b’zeit is often cooked in a tomato-based stew. I prefer by far the non-tomato version, which is loaded with garlic (cooked garlic adds sweetness to the dish) and concentrates the taste of the green beans.
Spinach has always had the Popeye “miracle” reputation: very nutritious, as mothers around the world have always repeated to their children! This simple stew gains so much flavor from the garlic and the coriander, a staple couple of Lebanese cuisine.
These herb pies are mainly of spinach, with onion and lemony sumac. An even better version is the baa’leh (purslane) pies, which have a very earthy taste.
This is the mujadara of South Lebanon. With a light yellow color, and a runnier consistency, the mujadara safra is a perfect summer dish that is best served with radishes and olives. It’s very easy to prepare, with a minimum of ingredients and preparation, and not kitchen machine to use!
Semsemyieh is a typical souk dessert, made of toasted sesame seeds and ground almonds set in a sweet syrup, though it could also be made from chopped cashews, or all almonds, or pistachios.