• Almond and Fig

Updated: Jun 18, 2020


1 package frozen phyllo dough thawed For the filling 1 bag frozen spinach thawed 1 cup crumbled feta 1 red onion minced (you can sautée it or leave it raw) Salt and pepper to taste A few grates of fresh nutmeg Zest of one Lemon 2 tsp sumac 2 tbls pine nuts Nigella seeds or sesame seeds and flaky salt (optional) Olive oil for brushing

Filling: Squeeze the spinach until all the water comes out you can do that using a couple of paper towels. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, sumac, feta, pine nuts, onions, lemon zest.


Take 1 sheet of filo dough (make sure to cover the remaining sheets with a clean kitchen towel to prevent them from drying) Cut the sheet of phyllo into 3 even strips and brush with olive oil. Fold each strip in half creating a double layer. Place one teaspoon of the filling along the short side of the rectangle and roll creating a cigar ha! Brush the top with olive oil and add a Sprinkle of nigella seeds and flaky salt on top if you want to be fancy u know. Brush, fill, roll and repeat until you are done it goes by so fast. Line the cigars in a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 oven for about 20 min until golden and crisp.

Dipping Sauce: 1 cup Greek yogurt 1/4 cup crumbled feta Juice and zest of one Lemon A drizzle of olive oil Whirl all ingredients in a blender or a mixer until smooth and fluffy Tip: Phyllo dough gets soggy after it sits out for a while just reheat in a toaster oven and enjoy

* These cigars are freezer friendly. Freeze them in a one sheet pan until frozen solid. Once frozen, pack in a freezer reusable bag. Don't defrost, reheat in a 350 oven until crisp and heated through 15-20 minutes.

700 views0 comments
  • Mai

Creamy Asparagus & Jameed Soup

Spring is almost here, despite the still crisp cold days but the bright sun, the birds chirping, and snow melting are clear and promising signs of warmer days ahead. A stroll to the souk (market) and you start to find bundles of emerald green asparagus another indication of all the spring produce ahead.

Every year, when asparagus is in season (it’s now till May) a big pot of silky, cream-laced asparagus soup is always the first thing I make. This vibrant soup packs in the bright freshness I crave this time of year while still delivering all the comfort I expect from a creamy hot bowl of soup.

But this creamy asparagus soup is made without heavy cream, — it’s made with an unusual ingredient; Jameed yogurt that’s puréed with the softened asparagus to silky perfection.

Jameed yogurt (Arabic: جميد, literally means "hardened in Arabic") has a distinct fermented, slightly tangy and salty taste (I can possibly compare it ever so slightly to Pecorino Romano cheese just to give you an idea if you are not familiar with Jameed). The complex flavors of jameed compliments the fresh asparagus pretty well and gives this soup the creamy element that we love with flavors that are amplified , and you can’t get from heavy cream alone.

This soup is the perfect start for early spring because both the asparagus and the Jameed yogurt are in peak season. Jameed is produced by Bedouins during this time of the year when milk (goat or ewe’s milk) is at its freshest and is produced in surplus amounts.

Jameed yogurt is usually the main ingredient in Mansaf (the most beloved and national dish of Jordan). Mansaf is Always Served on a large platter called سدر covered with a thin flatbread, topped with a bed of ghee scented rice, a generous portion of melt in your mouth lamb and the Jameed sauce. More about the preparation of traditional mansaf on my IG story.

Drawing from Bedouin traditions, Jordanians and Arab hosts often prepare mansaf as a show of appreciation and hospitality for their guests. It is also commonly served for special occasions.

But today this hearty, full of flavor asparagus in jameed soup is served in hopes of warm weather, spring and a new set of fresh produce ahead ❤️

Asparagus & Jameed Soup

Serves 4 to 6

PREP TIME: 5 -10 minutes

COOK TIME 20 minutes to 25 minutes


  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 2 bunches)

  • 1 onion finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic minced

  • 2 tablespoons ghee

  • 1 tsp sumac

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (Watch for your salt as the jameeed is pretty salty)

  • 4 cups low sodium or sodium free chicken or vegetable broth about 32 ounces

  • 17.6 Oz liquid Jameed**

**If you are not using prepared liquid Jameed

Make sure you don’t dilute with broth. This measurement is for a concentrated Jameed mixture

liquid Jameed: prepared brand you can purchase in the USA is Ziyad its a product of Jordan

Jameed balls ready for drying and use. Cooking jameed from a hard ball requires soaking and then blending till you get a smooth creamy consistency. to get real karak style jameed in the USA you can get it here


Wash your asparagus well and trim about 1-inch off the ends . The ends tend to be dry fibrous. You can reserve the ends to make a veggie stock if you wish . Chop your asparagus spears into bite size pieces about 1/2 am inch.

Finely chop the onion and mince 2 garlic cloves.

Melt the ghee in a Dutch oven or a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the asparagus stalks, garlic, salt, and black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. (Watch for your salt as the jameeed is pretty salty)

Pour in 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Then add in the liquid jameeed stir well to combine it will appear cloudy at first but it will come together quickly. Reduce the heat to simmer, and simmer uncovered until the asparagus is tender but still bright green, 8 to 12 minutes.

Using a hand held immersion blender, Or if you are using a regular blender make sure you then blend soup in batches and cover well so you don't burn yourself from the hot steam. Blend until you get the desired creaminess. Add the sumac and stir to combine.

Serve hot. I love to drizzle the top with a drizzle of warm ghee.

Jameed (Arabic: جميد, literally means "hardened") is a hard dried yogurt or laban often made from ewe or goat's milk. The traditional preparation of laban Jameed is done by Bedouin communities. The milk is kept in a fine woven cheesecloth to make a thick yogurt. Salt is added daily to thicken the yogurt even more and the outside of the yogurt-filled cheesecloth is rinsed with water to allow any remaining whey to seep through. After a few days of salting the yogurt, it becomes very dense and can be removed from the cheesecloth and shaped into round balls. It is then set to dry for a few days. If it is dried in the sun it becomes yellow; if it is dried in the shade it remains white. It is important that the jameed is dry to the core because any dampness can spoil the preservation process. Jameed is the primary ingredient used to make mansaf, the national dish of Jordan.

For a video on how jameed is made in a Palestinian Bedouin community near Hebron click here.


Season: You will start finding asparagus in the market late February to June, with April being the peak.

Picking Asparagus: Fresh asparagus will be bright green and crisp with no signs of shriveling or wilting. The tender tips may have a purplish cast, but they should be firm and tight, and not mushy.

Prepping Asparagus: The ends are thick and fibrous, just trim it and you can use it if you are making vegetable stock. Take take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks. Usually its right where the stalks turn from white into green. Then using that as an indication and line up all of the spears in a row and slice off the ends all at once

Storing Asparagus: Trim about an inch from the bottoms of the stalks and place them in a big jar with a little water in the bottom. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Change the water daily to help keep them crisp and vibrant. You can also wrap the ends with a damp paper towel and store the stalks in a plastic bag in the fridge.

70 views0 comments

Although crêpes aren’t limited to sweet filling but my entire family has a sweet tooth so when crêpes appear for brunch or dessert there are always lots of smiles. And this gloomy, 2 feet of snow kind of weather could use some brightening up. So we present to you our favorite combo as of yet. Citrus orange blossom crêpes, filled with Ashta cream, a drizzle of Seville orange jam and a dusting of pistachios. My husbands bday is coming up so a chocolate or a peanut butter version might be coming up.

Making crêpes is a fun skill to have in your cooking repertoire. Crêpes are a blank canvas for sweet and savory dishes. Change your fillings and flavorings and they are perfect for any occasion and they are great to serve for brunch, dinner or dessert.

You can make crêpes at home so easily with no fancy tools or special equipment as long as you have a non stick pan you are good to go. The batter comes together in the blender. Because the blender incorporates more air into it, resulting in a very light and tender crêpes with those characteristic tiny air bubbles on top.

Astha and orange blossom citrus crêpes

Makes: about 8 - 12 crepes

The amount of crêpes depends on the size of your pan and the thickness of your crêpes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups milk ( I used 2%)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water

  • 1-2 additional melted butter to brush the pan for cooking the crêpes

  • To serve:

  • 1 Ashta recipe (can be prepared a few days in advance)

  • 2-3 any orange variety, peeled and thinly sliced or segmented

  • Seville orange jam or any citrus jam you like

  • Crushed pistachios

Tools you need:

Tools you need:

~ A thin spatula

~ A nonstick Pan: I used a 9 inch nonstick pan or 9-inch crêpe pan (see note for other pan sizes)

~ Blender or a bowl and a whisk

To Make the batter.

Place the flour, milk, eggs, butter, salt, sugar, and orange blossom in a blender. Blend well until the batter is smooth, scraping down the sides until everything is incorporated.

The blender is not a must but what it does is that it incorporates more air into the batter, resulting in a very light and tender crêpe with those characteristic tiny air bubbles. If you don’t have a blender just which really well until frothy.

Cover and let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 days in the fridge. I usually make mine the night before and I cook them the next day.

Resting the batter allows the flour to absorb the liquid and the gluten to relax resulting in a light and tender crêpe.

Place your non stick pan or 8-inch crêpe pan over medium heat and brush the pan with melted butter to coat the bottom.

Pour in about 1/4 cup of batter. Immediately pick up the pan and swirl it to create an even layer on the bottom of the pan.

When the crêpe has browned slightly on the bottom, loosen it around the edges with your spatula and carefully flip it. Cook the second side for 20 seconds, just to set the batter.

slide your crepes onto a plate or preferably a wire rack so they don’t steam. Continue by seasoning the pan with butter, 1/4 cup batter until the batter is finished.

To Serve:

Stuff or top your crepes with the Ashta cream, a dollop of Seville Oranges jam and some fresh orange segments and crunchy pistachios

Recipe tips:

If you don’t have a blender you can whisk everything together in a bowl until thoroughly combined and frothy.


Finding the perfect temperature for making crêpes important. Start with medium heat or just a little lower, and adjust from there. Once you find that sweet spot with heat it will go fast.

Nonstick Pan is key: sure you can use a crêpe pan but it’s not necessary as long as you have a nonstick surface. crêpe pans have low sides to make it easier to get a spatula in there to flip them.

Pan size to batter ratio:

To get deliciously thin crêpes use this general rule of thumb:

8-inch pan: 3 tablespoons of batter

10-inch pan: 1/4 cup of batter

12-inch pan – 1/3 cup of batter

Storing crêpes:

crêpe batter: It’ll keep for up to 2 days in the fridge

Ready made crêpes store in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for a few months. Put a parchment paper in between the layers and store in a ziplock bag.

231 views0 comments
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square

© 2018 by Almond & FIG