Anything that tends to taste bitter will get my loving attention. I can sometimes long for that taste so badly. Fresh broad beans cannot be compared to anything else. They are widely used in the Middle East. Delicious. Here in the pilav with some fresh dill, onion and garlic it is a fantastic soft delicate combination. And to counter that, sometimes we take shatta with it. The green version in this case. The colour maches the dish and the sharpeness is completely appropriate.
Cavolo nero is often compared to kale or wild spinach. But actually, that doesn’t do him justice. Cavolo nero is cavolo nero. Lovely structure, soft taste, great to combine. Whatever you combine it with, cavolo nero (or palm cabbage) absorbs it all with love. And then we eat it with love. While releasing some cries of delight at this Arabic version.
Hummus, I eat it almost every day. I eat it all the time. Combine it with just about anything. I’m never tired of it. And I always had it at room temperature until now. Until one day it was served as a hot dish. And then … I experienced hummus in another dimension. I could have it it as a main, but I am not sure about other people… ‘:-) This hummus is softened by the yogurt. And the baked bread from the oven that you find on and under and half in it fits perfectly. Well, I’d say. Once served like this and there is no way back.
It starts with the crunchy cavolo nero (palm cabbage). Washing, cutting it, the shimmering leaves. It’s a party right away. And then the sundried tomatoes, the smoked paprika, cumin, pepper, chickpeas… you don’t even have to take a bite to know that it will appear regularly on your table. And then if you take a bite, you know it for sure.
Risotto and I are very close friends. Unconditional love. For life. It never disappoints me. My kitchen always has everything in stock you need to make a risotto. Sometimes I don’t know which one to prepare, but then the risotto ‘finds me’. With good suggestions. Like the other day with pumpkin. Love at first sight again. What’s new.
Sambal, Madame Jeanette’s, Harissa – the hotther the better as far as I’m concerned. Well, of course, it shouldn’t be too dominant. But some harissa with your hummus. On a piece of cucumber. Or shatta with your falafel. This type of seasoning can make all the difference. It brings the variety you sometimes long for, right? All these spice makers are also not all the same. This shatta is spicy, but also fresh. Thanks to the lemon juice and vinegar. And with that, it puts its own flavor tone in your refrigerator.
Eggplants and I have come a long way. Apart from baba ganoush, I found it a difficult vegetable to prepare. But I’ll get back to you on that. I’ve come to love eggplant more and more. They have slowly but surely convinced me how delicious eggplants actually are. I think one day eating an overly raw eggplant has stayed with me a little too long as a bad experience. But this purple miracle deserves many new chances. This dish also shows how wonderfully delicious you can prepare them.
If I were sent to a deserted island and I could only choose three things to take with me to eat, hummus would be at the top of my list. I N-E-V-E-R ever have enough of it. Especially if you vary a bit with toppings. This topping with fried eggplant, walnut, mint, parsley and some lemon is super tasty. Super smooth. And even more tasteful of course.
It was Grandma Billy who inspired me to do this. And that’s why this recipe is dedicated to her. She’s been following à la Damaris for a while. Has her favourite dishes – bulgurpilav with cauliflower is one of them – and she regularly pops up on the chat with an enthusiastic reaction or a question. One day, she asked me if I knew how to roast pumpkin seeds that you have left over from your pumpkin. I did not have the answer for her, but sent her a few suggestions/links. And soon she told me it was exactly what she had looked for. And it worked out great. Now yesterday I had pumpkin seeds left over from no less than 8 squash. So I made my version of it today. And the result? Joris started to love me a little more today. All thanks to grandma Billy. But that’s what grandma’s are for, right?
Mash, a typical Dutch meal, I didn’t grow up with it. And I am usually not a big fan. But this mash is lovely. It’s a mash that has it all. An interesting variety of flavors, textures, and colors. Turnip, spinach, endive, dill, caramelized onions, some vegan cheese…. and delicious fresh yogurt… Well… That requires making and eating of course.
This rice is our favorite. He was brought into our home by our Kenyan friend Peninah. She was born and raised in the slums of Nairobi and founded the NGO Safe Spaces. We are supporting her and her organization for more than 10 years. And if she’s in the Netherlands for fundraising, she’s staying with us. This is her version of white rice. Cooked in ginger, garlic onion…
This dish is heavenly. It’s our white paradise on earth. Risotto rice cooked in milk (oat milk) and cooked in yogurt. Crunchy cauliflower from the oven. And then topped with adha – crispy fried garlic slices in olive oil. You probably need some time to process this combination of ingredients, but put yourself over it quickly and run into the kitchen to make it.
It is as ‘hot’ and delicious as it looks. So nutritious. So tasty, too. So delicious. You want to keep on eating. Your bowl is empty. You fill up your bowl again. Empty the bowl again. One more scoop, then. And another one? Yes… This is one of those soups.
I love classic recipes. I really love them. They are A-L-W-A-Y-S exactly right. Always very, very tasty. Always great. And, of course, so is this maftoul. There are variations. Every family has one. Every Palestinian grandmother is renowned for it. And this is a delicious vegan version. And if you don’t know pearl couscous yet, this is your best first introduction.
You look at the ingredients and think … simple. And maybe you think … not special enough… well, then you’re wrong… Because this soup is extremely delicious. You hope there will be something left for later or for the next day… and that nobody will beat you to it… Because that would be … annoying… This is the soup Zaynab once made for us on a Sunday afternoon. We always remembered it and often long for it…
A casserole dish is simply fantastic. Especially this one. All tastes come together. You take care of all the preparations and the result never disappoints you. In fact, it’s even more delicious than you expected. Comfort food. And the whole idea that you pit everything nicely in a bowl, knowing that the job is done from your side and the oven takes it further. So fancy. And the oven knows exactly what to do. Kitchen hero. We all know the Greek version of musaka, but this Palestinian is, as far as I am concerned, about ten times better. What am I saying? A hundred times better.
Sauerkraut prepared in this way is pure comfort food. The sweetness of the red pepper is a wonderful counterpart to the sauerkraut. The vegan cheese sauce is deliciously creamy and the oven actually does the rest. Casseroles are of course also great slow food material. And the delicious crust on top is of course ‘priceless’.
If you love cauliflower as much as I do, you can’t imagine there are people who find cauliflower “difficult”. And then I express myself even mildly, because usually these ‘people’ choose other more expressive terms. The more fun it is if you can tempt them to give cauliflower a fair chance. And then find them admitting that this really is delicious. That happens to me regularly and I am sure that will be the case with this dish as well. And if you already like cauliflower… it’s the right time to go for it.
Eggplant, we know it from casseroles, from pilavs, from baba ganoush. But as the main ingredient of a soup, this vegetable is not so well known. We are going to change that. Because this is a hit. Also very nice in summer.
Kibbeh bil sanieh will bring every Lebanese into heavenly spheres. It is a classic of the Lebanese cuisine that has almost mythical proportions. And for a reason. The lamb mince pie is divine, but yes not vegan. This is a variant that makes a great side dish alongside one or two vegetable dishes. Light, nutritious and tasteful. And beautiful, too. And that’s what you want on your table, right?
Countless cauliflower haters have learned to appreciate cauliflower thanks to this dish. They openly declared this to me. They are overwhelmed by the deliciousness that cauliflower can bring. How great is that, right? The cauliflower is spicy, the eggplant is a wonderfully fresh counterpart and the tomato salsa brings everything together. It’s a surprising combination, but one that stays with you. In a very positive way, that is.
These green olives are very tasty with a sauce of grilled peppers and rose harissa. The pickled lemons top it off. Really a very nice addition to your mezze or just as an appetizer of course.
We all know tabouleh, but this is a great variation on the theme. A winter edition, in every way. The chosen vegetables, the chosen spices. Really worth a try. And this way also more a salad that you will also serve at dinner time.
Pancakes as a side dish. Syrians came up with this great idea one day. And not just simple pancakes, of course. No, they are made from a whole butternut squash, some bulgur, little flour, a lot of delicious spices of course… And really great as a side with Syrian spinach. Or some other divine vegetable dish. Deliciously crunchy, deliciously airy.
Spinach, so delicious. So soft. So nice. And in this dish, all other ingredients do their best not to dominate the other ingredient. The result? Everything stays in balance. Subtle tastes. A lovely picture to look at. And incredibly nice to eat. As a delicious side dish or as a main course next to a salad.
When I think of Sunday afternoon. When I think of Italy. And I combine those two, then I think of arancini da Ischia. Recently we also had delicious arancini at our Italian friend’s Gian in Antwerp. And he gave me his recipe. And I put some à la myself in the recipe, and this is what came out. It’s really good. A very independent type of side dish with rice.
Whether you like beets or not, this looks incredibly good, right? And it is. Red wine, red onions, beets… And some garlic and dill. So incredibly delicious. So fresh. So earthy. And so tasteful.
‘Stampot’ (mashed potatoes with kale) belongs to the Dutch ‘cuisine’. It’s part of our winter. And of course, stamport traditionally includes bacon and sausage. But not here, of course. And with these amazing spicy mushrooms, you have a whole new ‘stampot’ experience. One that overrides the other. It’s better. More tasteful. Really great.
Fennel is so good. Raw very refreshing, but in this salad where you caramelize it, the fennel has become butter-soft and sweet. Ab fab. In combination with onion, garlic and the fresh coconut yoghurt really tasteful. The pomegranate is a very common guest in Persian cuisine. And sames goes in this salad.
It’s a beetroot salad, but as the picture reveals, it’s more than that. Beetroot with carrot from the oven, cherry tomatoes, mint (mmmmm), pine nuts and red onion. A delightful combination from the Palestinian cuisine.