Take breakfast at my parents' house near Beirut, for example. My mother makes her own thyme pies, and my father organically grows the most delicious tomatoes I have ever tasted in my life. Put the two together, and this combination is flavor perfection. I couldn't think of a better meal to kick-start my day. I also sneaked back a few pies in my suitcase on the way home. I'm happy to share my recipe for these thyme pies - called Man'ousheh in Lebanese. Simply send me an email!
|A typical Lebanese breakfast: Preserved Lamb with Eggs; Garlic Yogurt (Labneh); Hummus; Balilah, an assortment of Vegetables and Pickles, all enjoyed with Lebanese bread.|
|Mom's Middle-Eastern dinner feast|
|The salad complemented the heavier dishes perfectly|
Similarly, after traveling to Italy, I am reminded that a dish as straightforward as a Roman pasta with fresh tomatoes, cooked to perfection is why simple good food always wins.
|One of the many simple but great meals we enjoyed in Rome. Pictured here in the Jewish Ghetto.|
When you experience meals that are made with love and the most wonderful of ingredients, life gets instantly better. Whether to Rome or Beirut, or anywhere your journeys take you, here's to more travel, good food and happy memories around the table.
|Family-made Limoncello at a lemon orchard in Sorrento, Italy|
|Simple pastas and risotti make the best meals. Rome, Italy|
Use this dressing (or vinaigrette) to add some zing to any of your favorite salad ingredients!
|Mom's salad dressed with the classic Lebanese vinaigrette|
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice - never from a bottle
1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt - kosher salt is great for dressings
ground black pepper to taste
Optional: a pinch of Sumac spice
Add all ingredients to a bowl. Mix just before serving. Dressing some salads (such as those containing warm roasted vegetables) ahead of serving is perfectly fine. Use your own judgement in this case.