I love Lebanese food and tasted manouche for the first time in Covent Garden the other day with my Lebanese friend Ralph at The Lebanese Bakery which is worth a visit if you want proper fresh Lebanese flatbreads. Manoushe is freshly baked flat bread with Za’atar on it and it’s a delicious combination of Middle Eastern flavours with thyme. The bakery put hummus and parsley, rocket and pine nuts on top, but you can have it as is or dipped into baba ganoush with salad. It tastes amazing with any mezze.
I saw this traditional Israeli sandwich being made on “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix and I had to recreate it as it looked so delicious. It’s got fried aubergines, boiled eggs, pickled vegetables, salad and a tahini dressing. What’s not to like? After the Gothenburg (also on this blog), this is my other favourite sandwich – and it’s not called the best sandwich in the world for nothing… It’s usually folded over or the filling is tucked into the pocket of a flat bread, but I’ve made it like an open sandwich so you can see the gorgeous ingredients. I have left Amba sauce out (which is a savoury mango pickle which you can buy online or make yourself but you can add it if you can get hold of it) and I used Sriracha instead of making chili sauce from scratch.
It’s a vegetarian dream.
This really delicious Lebanese salad is made with toasted pitas and a mix of salad vegetables and herbs and has the most delicious fragrant sweet dressing. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and sour and crunchy and soft combined. You can add radishes, carrots, olives, peppers, shredded red cabbage, feta or what ever you fancy, it’s perfect for using up vegetables in the fridge. It’s a sort of Middle Eastern version of panzanella and its really gorgeous. You can serve it as a starter, or with meat or fish and it’s perfect picnic food and pretty healthy too. I like it as a healthy lunch made with wholemeal pitas and a side order of humus and more pita bread. Over to Ralph…
Ralph here……It tasted amazing! Took me right back to my mum’s Lebanese kitchen.
2 teaspoons of sumac, soaked in 2 teaspoons of warm water for 10 minutes
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
1 clove of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of wine vinegar
1/3 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
A couple of pita breads, lightly coated in olive oil and roasted in the oven till crispy then broken into smallish pieces
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Half a cucumber, skinned and diced
Half a red onion finely sliced
1 little Gem or baby romaine lettuce, shredded
A sprig of finely chopped parsley
A sprig of finely chopped mint