In between brushing Ava’s hair, making her breakfast and playing with scissors, paper and glue, I like to pretend we’re traveling. This week it’s all about Lebanon. I tell her about mountains and snow. We look at pictures of bustling city and sleeping country. We watch clips online. We talk about the pretty trees and the winding roads.
She responds to it all by saying, in her sweet broken toddler-tongue “I want go, right now.”
“Where,” I ask?
I smile, leading her to repeat the very-big-word Lebanon back to me.
“Christmas” she says, unblinking.
Not exactly what I thought she’d say.
Oh, to be a two year-old again.
And, yet, here I am, taking her to Lebanon via stovetop travel. Everything about this week’s menu is fantastic. Two heads of garlic. Roasted eggplant. Homemade pasta. Warm, cozy tea. The menu also happens to be entirely vegan. Nothing wrong with that.
Not when it tastes this good.
What sounds good to you?*
Baba Ghanoush with Roasted Garlic [recipe]
Smoky eggplant dip seasoned with lemon juice, tahini, parsley and an entire head of roasted garlic.
Garlic-lemon Sauce (Toum) [recipe]
A perfectly smooth sauce made with nothing more than an entire head of raw garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. (!)
Mountain Gnocchi (Maakroun) [recipe]
Lebanon’s answer to gnocchi – this vegan pasta is made with just flour, olive oil, salt and water.
Baby-mama’s Spiced Tea, from Lebanon (Ainar) [recipe]
Take the chill out of the air with this tea made with caraway, cinnamon, anise and nutmeg. Serve with sugar and pour over an assortment of nuts.
*All recipes and the review will be posted by Monday morning.