Watermelon Feta Salad

Watermelon Feta Salad

During my childhood, hot summer days were soothed by the sweet fresh flavors of a delicious combination my father introduced me to: cold watermelon and Feta cheese. Since I discovered my passion for food and spend countless hours in the kitchen and around cookbooks, I was looking for a recipe to make this beautiful “gustative memory” more appealing. The Feta cheese is perfect with the juicy watermelon, the addition of tomatoes and cucumbers gives interesting textures to the salad and the fresh mint links all the aromas together and brightens up this meal.
The recipe calls for white balsamic vinegar; it has a lighter flavor than the regular balsamic vinegar of Modena. It works great in this dish because of its light fruity flavor and it doesn’t affect the vibrant colors of the fresh ingredients.
It’s a playful magical salad. I hope you like it too.

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Stir Fried Sesame Beef

Stir Fried Sesame Beef

This stir fried sesame beef recipe is delicious and easy to make with a little bit of planning. You have to give some time to the marinade to work its magic. The flavors of ginger and sesame are beautiful and well balanced, the snow peas give this meal a nice vibrant color and crunchy texture, the scallions (green onions) add a very subtle kick that brightens the whole recipe . It is an easy and satisfying meal by itself, with a salad or over some basmati rice. We love asian inspired recipes; this dish was an instant hit. The kids had two servings. I know I’ll be cooking it very again very soon.

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Aioli / Aïoli (garlic sauce)

Aioli / Aïoli (garlic sauce)

I have been trying to make aioli* for a long time. I started by preparing the lebanese version with garlic, olive oil, salt and little bit of lemon juice. I tested various methods available; all failed. Something was wrong from the very start: the garlic texture. I tried it with a mortar and pestle (with and without salt), the back of a knife, a food processor, a garlic press… nothing worked. The garlic was nicely “crushed” but once I started adding olive oil, it just separated and I ended up with soups of different textures, all very garlicky but miles away from the aioli I wanted to achieve.

Then came the microplane** rasp grater! It is a super fine grater with extremely sharp blades. The grated garlic will come out smooth with a nice pasty texture. That was the first step. Garlic texture: done!

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Polenta with Fontina & Roasted Vegetables

Polenta with Fontina & Roasted Vegetables

The Mediterranean diet and specifically the Lebanese one include a lot of vegetables. It is part of our culture and the flavor and aroma education we are giving our kids. We love vegetables and we eat them throughout the day, from breakfast to dinner even at snack time! We just love them: raw, roasted, steamed, grilled… This is why we always have a vegetable side or salad to compliment every meal.
While planning my weekly menu, I make sure to program at least two days of vegetarian meals. It balances out our week. 

The Polenta with Fontina and Roasted Vegetables quickly became a family favorite. It is hearty, cheesy, creamy, colorful and deliciously vegetarian. It can be served in one large baking dish or in individual ramekins. The presentation is gorgeous but the taste is even better!!
You can serve it with a simple green salad.

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