Grilled Vegetables with Za’atar Chickpeas and Mint Pistachio Barley

Za’atar is an herb and spice blend from Levantine cuisine.  I was first introduced to it by a former roommate, who called it “the spice”.  While there are variations across the Middle East, the star of za’atar is thyme.  It is often served with pita and olive oil.  The pita is dipped in olive oil,…

Panzanella Primavera

This panzanella salad is savory from the garlic and shallots, tangy from the lemon, a bit smokey from the tempeh bacon, a bit herbaceous from the arugula, and with the slightest sweetness from the grape tomatoes.  The textures are awesome–crispy tempeh bacon, toasted bread that’s soaked up just a bit of the dressing, so it’s…

Mediterranean Chickpea Eggplant Salad

Recently, I asked one of my friends, “If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?”  I was very surprised to hear, “Eggplant.”  Despite the fact that I eat baba ghannooj daily (I’m looking at you Al-Amir!), I don’t think of eggplants very often.  They are flavor…

Cauliflower Pistachio Orzo Salad

It is definitely spring!  Walking the dog this morning, the trees are fully in bloom, and the bulb flowers have come up.  The birds are chirping.  With the rain of winter moving behind us, the people of the US’s Pacific Northwest come out to play.  Friendly neighbors smile and wave.   All this great weather…

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Pistachio Dipping Sauce

When I was a kid, my family frequented a diner in our town.  I always got the sweet potato fries.  Even if I ordered the soup, I was still getting sweet potato fries.  They were thin cut like chips, and were hot and crisp.  One bite, and they would start to disintegrate in your mouth….