This week was supposed to be a full working week on an upcoming project with Bethany Kehdy. We were scheduled to be doing video recipe filming up here in their mountain fortress at the foot of Sannine mountain. I was in charge of the off-screen cooking and the styling. During the past couple of weeks Bethany and I fixed our heads to the computer screens and pen and paper to note down every single recipe, every single ingredient, props, and every piece of kitchenware a kitchen might need since we’re starting the kitchen from scratch.
In the past few days, we’ve been running around like maniacs curating, observing, selecting, and purchasing everything we need to make the shooting happen. As much as I enjoy shopping and getting lost in kitchen related scavanges, this was tiring. But it was fun to go through. Anyways, we packed everything and went up the 1700m above sea level area only to find that the kitchen isn’t ready for filming yet. That’s probably for our own good, but it really pissed us off. We had to go with it since we have no other option.
We’ve been up here for the 3rd consecutive day, sorting what we bought and trying to make sense of the kitchen design. We’ve stored all the spices and grains in jar, and all the equipments and utensils to one side to be put on display once everything is ready. But what do we eat? We were supposed to buy all the fresh ingredients and the meats from the village, but since there’s no filming, we bought none. We’re up here, 15 minutes away from the village by car. What do we do?
We eat like villagers.
Going through the land, I encountered small clusters of leafs on the side of the dirt pathway. It was among the aromatic vibrant green mint stalks and the dusty olive green bushes of thyme, now flowering in white knots. I asked the man who works the land and he told me it’s a wild leafy plant called Hommayda in Arabic. A Google search led me to what I believe is the same plant, Sorrel. I tasted it and it is good.
I picked a bunch and chopped it into a salad with ripe red tomatoes, a couple of small shallots, and fresh mint and thyme. Dressed it with salt, plenty of olive oil, and a generous drizzle of pomegranate molasses for a slightly sweet taste. Bethany cooked a pot of broad white beans and dressed it with olive oil, salt and smashed garlic. Then she cooked one of her favorite grain from the jars of grains we set up; freekeh! She cooked it in a very simple manner; boiled and salted. It was self sufficient as it packs a ton of flavors. The trio of these simple dishes was more than we could ask for. Simple. Rustic. Natural. And downright delicious.
Sometimes more pleasure comes from the simplest things.
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Rustic Wild Sorrel Salad with Fresh Mint, and Thyme
Go rustic. Ditch the measurements and follow your taste. This is only a guide to what would taste good together but adjust the herbs and seasoning to your own liking. Or in other words, I didn’t measure the ingredients to write them down.
- 1 bunch of wild Sorrel
- 2 medium red tomatoes
- 2 small shallots
- sprigs of mint
- sprigs of Lebanese wild thyme
- Olive oil
- Pomegranate molasses
- Wash, dry, and chop the Sorrel and put in a large bowl
- Dice the tomatoes and shallots and add to the bowl
- Pick the herb leaves and mix them with the rest of the ingredients
- Sprinkle some salt, a good glug of olive oil, and a generous drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Mix and taste. Adjust the seasoning to your own liking. I like it to have a lot of olive oil, and and some pomegranate molasses to balance the sour taste of Sorrel with a hint of sweetness