Fassolia baida arrida—big, flat, white butter beans—are considered the fanciest beans. Every good garden must have at least one plant, which will grow fast and big, like a vine, and produce large, flat, tender green pods that hold the flat white jewel-like beans.
Here’s another version of kibbeh, prepared the Armenian way. It’s a kibbeh of bulgur and fragrant herbs with cooked split yellow lentils. Vospov kofte is a Lenten dish and a perfect option for a light and nutritious summer meal.
Nothing means mountain rustic food as much as makhlouta, or the “mixed,” and it is in fact a mix of several kinds of beans and a bit of coarse bulgur, all cooked together in a thick brown porridge-like sauce.
Another version of taro potato is made with lentils. As in so many cases, there are the two camps of preference: those who cook it with tahini, and those who cook it without.
Prepared in an easy style, this is one of the easiest and simplest summer stews for taking advantage of the abundant summer zucchini.
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.
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!
If the south has a lighter, sweeter version in mujadra safra, the north has it at the opposite end of the spectrum, dark and thick! The Northern Lebanese version of mujadara is made with red beans instead of lentils and coarse bulgur instead of rice.
Red Bean Stew is a Friday favorite; it can be prepared in advance and served at room temperature. It is best eaten with scallions, radishes, and a green salad.
Bemyieh, or okra, is a fine delicacy of Lebanese cuisine. The plant itself is a beautiful shrub with pretty blue flowers that will turn into edible pods holding the plant’s seeds.