Beyond grabbing the pre-made Balela (chickpea salad) from Trader Joe's, Middle Eastern cooking was something I was not very familiar with. Until the lovely Faith Gorsky, sent me a copy of her cookbook, An Edible Mosaic. Faith is a fellow blogger and cookbook author who also did all of her own photography. Knowing firsthand how much LOVE, blood, sweat, and tears goes into creating a beautiful book like this, I couldn't wait to dive right in. Faith is such a sweet gal, and I loved reading about how her Syrian mother-in-law taught her to cook traditional Middle Eastern dishes.
Inspired by Faith's book, I made my family a Middle Eastern feast this week. It was a long busy day of summer day camps and tired kids and I only had 20 minutes to get dinner on the table, so I took some shortcuts - I used 1 can of chickpeas and roasted them in the oven for 10 minutes to dry them out a bit instead of soaking dried beans. And I used store-bough hummus and flatbread. Don't tell Faith, because her traditional recipes for those things are amazing. I made falafel for the first time ever and it was incredible. Crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, with warm nutty flavors. Nothing like the overly dry falafel I've had in the past. I loved them in a lettuce wrap with hummus and tabbouleh. The more traditional flatbread wrap method was equally (perhaps even more) mouthwatering.
Faith's falafel inside a lettuce wrap with hummus and tabbouleh. An amazingly satisfying vegetarian meal. This meal was so tasty I'm going to make a point of making Middle Eastern feast nights more often.
I wasn't sure how this was going to go over with the kids. But... they loved it! I found myself saying, "Stop eating Mommy's work!" several times while snapping photos. Always a good sign.
Menu and recipes after the break!
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