Kabobs are a great way to literally spice up the usual meatball or hamburger dinner. This recipe uses garlic, fresh parsley and mint as well as some traditional middle- eastern spices to create a warm and pungent kabob. If you don’t feel like making these on skewers, you can also turn them into sliders. Be sure to serve with the spicy parsley sauce on the side for dipping – some in my family think this is the best part! (Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis)
This is one of my favorite middle eastern street foods. There is nothing like a warm pita, stuffed with crispy falafel balls, crunchy fresh Israeli salad and tahini. You can, of course, add a myriad other toppings, like spicy sauce (harif), pickled turnips and fried eggplant, but this recipes goes for that bite of simple and delicious authentic falafel. (Adapted from Joan Nathan)
This is a warm and comforting chicken soup, with a delicious Mediterranean twist. The addition of cilantro, dill and parsley as well as the Hawayij spice mix with cardamom, coriander, and turmeric turn this chicken soup into a Yemenite feast. If you like spice, try adding a teaspoon the homemade Zhug to your bowl before taking your first bite - or eat this with a side pita and zhug.
This recipe is for salad lovers out there who dream about a hearty salad for dinner. The barley is nutty and chewy and coated with a sweet and bold Mediterranean spice mix. Combined with the salty feta, tangy pomegranate seeds and scallions, this salad brings together lots of great flavors and textures. This is also a great dish to bring to a potluck! (Adapted from Cooks Mediterranean Cooking)
Mujadra is a classic middle eastern dish that combines warm spices with lentils and rice into a hearty vegan meal. What puts this dish over the top is the mound of deep carmelized onions that are served on top of this dish or mixed in. If you are up for making this dairy, you can serve it with some labneh or sour cream on the side…
Tagines are great winter meals. This one has meatballs that cook in a spicy sauce, that includes all the best of middle eastern spices, like cumin and cinnamon. If you are up for a twist on a traditional meatball dinner, serve this morrocan version meatball tagine with cous cous for a deliciously different weeknight meal.
If you are a lamb person, you must try this. The ground lamb is seasoned with bold flavors like lemon zest, coriander and cumin and then placed in between two pita halves and grilled. This may be the best grilled lamb you have had in quite some time. Serve alongside Bamiya Style green beans (Adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
This recipe is a favorite of mine from Zahav, Michael Salmonov’s restaurant and cookbook. Unlike most green bean recipes I make that leave them crisp and crunchy, this recipe slow cooks the beans in a spicy sauce of middle eastern flavors until the beans have broken down and take on the intense tomato and spice flavors.
I often throw this salad together when I am looking for a cooked veggie or salad with an international flair. The carrots are cooked in lemon juice and then dressed with cumin, garlic and fresh cilantro, turning the ordinary carrot into an exotic salad. This is perfect for a mezze platter with hummus or as a side dish for fish or grilled meats.
For those of you who are wrapped up in the instant pot/pressure cooker craze, this recipe is for you. It turns dry chick peas into creamy deliciousness in just 25 minutes (even at altitude). Lemon zest, Mediterranean spices along with artichoke hearts and carrots come together for a flavorful tagine that will taste like it was simmering all day long. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can substitute canned chick peas. (Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)