linda sawaya at portland's better living show at 5 pm today! come by if you can to get your copy of alice's kitchen signed, and taste the made-with-love lebanese vegan menu: mjaddarah, salata, and hommus!
i forgot to mention in my recent post on lebanese omelette (ijhee) that i did a lebanese cooking demonstration last year of this spring favorite at the Better Living Show's Kitchen Stage! hungry and appreciative folks tasted about 100 samples of it served with local goat feta cheese, cured olives, persian cucumbers (okay not perfectly sustainable, but almost), and pita bread. it was a great hit! here's the newest baby spearmint harvested from my garden for the ijhee in a shimmery green bowl.
good news—i'm invited back to cook again this year and feed the masses...and i'll be doing my vegan favorites of mjaddrah (lentils and rice with carmelized onions); salata (lebanese salad with spring greens and garlic lemon dressing), and hommus bi tahini (i think everyone knows what this is :?), right?)
if you're in portland, come to the portland expo center on friday, march 26th at 5 pm to say hi and taste this year's offerings from alice's kitchen: traditional lebanese cooking! click on this link for more details! and be sure to make the lebanese omelette and let me know how much you love it!
this is the time of year when the parsley and mint are coming back to life in the Pacific Northwest, having gone dormant for a brief time of winter. i love exploring the garden to find these essential ingredients for our fabulous lebanese omelette that is perhaps more of a frittata than an omelette. it is very green, indeed, and full of nutrients with unique spicing of cinnamon and cayenne pepper. the recipe (page 141 of alice's kitchen) for ijhee is simple and easy-to-make. pictured above are ingredients: onions, both green and spanish, italian parsley, spearmint, flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, baking powder, and salt.
begin by chopping the spanish onion into a medium bowl; then mixing in a small amount of flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt. next comes the finely chopped parsley, mint, and green onions. this parsley and mint are the first of this year's garden's harvest! my green onions were too tiny, so these came from the grocery store, and they're fresh enough to use all the greens and whites.
the greens are mixed well with the onion and dry ingredients, with the eggs as the last addition.
mix well so everything is covered with egg. heat up equal amounts of clarified butter and olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet. when it is good and hot, the egg vegetable batter can be poured in entirely and spread evenly across the pan to make one big omelette (frittata), or drop in a 1/8 cup of the mixture forming little circles for individual omelettes that can be easily tucked into a mini pita round. when one side is golden brown, flip it over to complete the cooking. carefully lift out and onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
the big omelette can be quartered and makes 4 servings. this same recipe with 4 eggs makes about a dozen little patties that make fabulous appetizers, as pictured above. both versions are best served in pita pockets, with cured black olives, sheep or goat milk feta cheese, and sliced persian cucumbers on the side. besides being extremely tasty, these can be made ahead and served at room temperature. or you can make the batter ahead and cook the omelettes as needed. sahtein! and don't forget, if you make it with love, it will be delicious!
artist and writer, author of Alice's Kitchen: Traditional Lebanese Cooking.
i have painted murals, illustrated children's books, designed and illustrated book jackets, and i work in a variety of media: watercolor, acrylic, egg tempera, oil, photography, ceramics, collage, and mixed media.
i teach art, lebanese cooking, and love to garden and preserve food in the lebanese tradition. please visit my website, blogs, facebook, and twitter for more images.