The guests had dietary restrictions which made making the meal more fun for me and allowed the wonderful guests to experience many dishes from the land of the Phoenicians.
The guests were to arrive after sunset (somerville kitchen does not have clocks). So following my afternoon nap, production began with mezza preparation.
Four mezza platters - Loubieh bi Zeit; Bamieh bi Zeit; Moudardara (with bulgur wheat instead of rice) and Fried Lettuce all required onions and garlic.
Chopping many onions and garlic cloves, frying them in olive oil, not only got the cooking going but filled up the kitchen with Mediterranean aromas.
somerville kitchen loves humus. But chickpeas cans are packed with sodium, which, if you watch this ad - Sodium City -, you know you should skip cans.
Therefore, somerville kitchen prepares chickpeas from scratch - soak overnight, boil for 20 minutes and freeze in plastic containers.
And of course jardin greens: lemon and oregano for lemon-oregano salad, mint for the tabouleh and lemon balm and lavender for flavouring the water jug.
Mixing this and that, simmering pots, chopping tomatoes, soaking bulgur wheat and the mezza spread was ready way before sunset.
The main meal was a Moroccan vegetarian stew.
Last week, I wrote about Rick's Rub (see Rick's Rub). Well, this amazing versatile rub, with its cumin, peppers, paprika, star anise and salts, had everything you need in one Tbs to cook a tasty Moroccan stew (www.ricksdryrub.com).
The stew included jardin hot peppers, potatoes, carrots, Lebanese zucchinis, mini eggplants, tomatoes and chickpeas (add those last).
The slow simmering of all those vegetables in Rick's Rub spices made for a delicious stew eaten over healthy unprocessed organic quinoa.
Dessert, given guests' health restrictions on sugar and dairy, was fruit salad Lebanese style.
I followed a recipe my mother and all my aunts made when I was a kid. Basic fruits of apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit and bananas.
You dice and chop the fruit and layer them in the order listed above. You then open a can of pineapple chunks and pour it all, with its juices over the fruit.
Cover and let sit as you are having dinner and you end up with a tasty healthy dessert. Lebanese add liquor to it too, so our liquor of choice tonight was Cointreau.
A beautiful easy going evening, made more special by the electronic thank you card received right after the guests made it home. Thank you!