Starter: vegetables in the oven with home made Tehina*
Main course: Gluten free pasta with vegetables in a tomato sauce made by Ruth
Dessert: Fresh seasonal fruit with home made herbal tea and cinnamon – good for digestion
*Tehina or Tahini is a paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds used in North African, Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Tahini is served as a dip on its own or as a major component of hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva. Tahini is an excellent source of copper, manganese and healthy fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. Tahini’s relatively high levels of calcium and protein make it a useful addition to vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as to raw food diets when eaten in its unroasted form. Compared to peanut butter, tahini has higher levels of fiber and calcium and lower levels of sugar and saturated fats. (source: Wikipedia). In Belgium you can buy it at Delhaize or Jewish shops in Antwerp like Grosz. You can buy it ready made or raw like ours. Then you just have to add water, salt and some lemon to it and make it as liquid as you please. Besides using it with vegetables you could also try Tehina with some hummus and pita or in your Shakshuka or salad. Endless possibilities….
Photos by Ruth Van Soom
Thanks to Marie-France & Ruth
To celebrate Marilyn’s visit to her hometown Antwerp, we decided to make a Middle-Eastern dinner for our friends and family.
An ideal dip for pita bread: a big plate of Hummus and green Tehina, hard boiled eggs, grilled pine nuts with some cumin and sweet paprika powder. Hummus is a food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas. Tehina is a paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds.
This is the home made “Shakshuka” and probably Israel’s most famous dish after Falafel and Hummus. Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Sometimes with garlic. You can spice it up with some chili peppers. Most Israelis eat it for breakfast with a salad. Contemporary Israeli restaurants play with it and often offer a Green Shakshuka (with spinach, chard, aubergines and feta cheese). This dish knows many stories, recipes and myths. I like this description and recipe by “the Shiksa in the Kitchen” website if you want to try it at home.
I realize that even when describing food it’s hard to avoid politics: this is a chopped “Arab Salad”. The basic recipe includes tomato, cucumber and onion. Often mixed with parsley and combined with the juice of freshly squeezed lemon and olive oil, unlike many Western salads, Arabic salad contains no lettuce. In summer we add fresh mint leaves.
Another important spice in Mediterranean cuisine is called Za’atar. It’s a mixture of sumac, sesame seed and herbs.
And of course: Falafel. Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is usually served in a pita, topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tehina-based sauces. You can make them yourself or buy them at your local supermarket
בתאבון – Beteavon – Bon appétit – Smakelijk