I remember one time walking out of Hamra street, a once vibrant street in Beirut, during the last days of winter and seeing a vendor with styrofoam boxes overflowing with lump-like things held together with clear tape.
The first time I saw these sandy-stone-like produce I thought they were the world prized truffles with the amazing flavor and the unique aroma. I made risotto and shaved* some of those on top. I even buried one in a jar of short grain rice to fragrance it for risotto.
*shaved, more like crumbled it on the box grater’s slicer side only to get grains of sand later with every bite because I didn’t clean them well
Only later did I learn that these truffles are not the same thing.
These beautiful spores are called Desert Truffles. They are harvested not using dogs or pigs like western truffles but by roaming the desert landscapes (not desert dunes, but bare lands with rare vegetation) looking for bumps and cracks in the land. They dig their hands down and pull out the sand hoping there’s a something worthy in there.
This time of the year when nature wakes up from a long slumber bringing back out all the buds it tucked away inside its tough brown coat from the harsh winter. Trees may look dead, frail and leafless, but they’re busy working in silence, to shine with the most magical season of the year.
After a period of hibernation, work was being done silently.
In the past couple of months, I went back to my 5m² kitchen with a fire to cook something. In the meantime I cooked a new identity, a blossoming one that reflects my constant passion for food and nature. Continue reading →
This is not precisly a bruschetta. Technically it is. It is a piece of toasted bread, rubbed with garlic, topped with delicious ingredients. BUT it is certainly not an antipasto for me, excuse me Italians. I love these little filling bites for the limitless options one can layer in such a small bite.
There are still some seasonal tomatoes in produce shops and I LOVE tomatoes; red, ripe, juicy, and super flavourful. Go and grab the last ones out there and treat them well!
Summer is officially over. Today marks the start of Autumn, but the weather has already changed with a mellowing breeze and yellowing trees. There’s a charm about this season. Villagers and orchard owners believe that this is the most generous time of the year. The crops are plenty and the orchards look beautiful with the trees and vines bearing fruits from all colors.