• Almond and Fig

Updated: Jun 18


Ingredients



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.

Directions:


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.



  • Mai


Palestinian cuisine is rich and loaded with vegetables and seasonal ingredients. A whole pot of rolled vegetarian stuffed Swiss chard leaves from my garden. Stuffed with a vegetarian herby rice mixture, hand rolled and are ready to hit the stove. I am in love with Swiss chard. The leaves are gorgeous green and the stems are rainbow colors. And I grew up with the idea that any food that's stuffed or rolled comes to you with lots of love (lots).

Keep in mind this is a time consuming dish but it’s so worth making. The Swiss chard leaves have a nice earthy flavor, loaded with so many vitamins, combined with an herby rice mixture, chopped tomatoes, fresh lemon juice and the olive oil create a perfectly bright and delicious sauce you would want to drink straight up.



Vegetarian Swiss chard rolls


Ingredients:

4-5 vine tomatoes diced

2 sliced tomatoes for the top

2 cups short grain rice rinsed

1.5 cups finely chopped Italian parsley

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 3 tbls for the pot

Juice of two lemons

1 bunch of green onions chopped

1 jalapeño diced (optional)

1 12oz can of rinsed chickpeas

2 bunches of Swiss chard

Salt, pepper, to taste

2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

few grates of fresh nutmeg

1 tsp Aleppo pepper

1 head of garlic not peeled just divided (optional)

Directions of the stuffing:


Rinse the rice few times until water runs clear. Add all ingredients and mix well to combine.

Rinse the Swiss chard leaves. Take out the stem from the middle dividing the leaf to two halves or if the leaves are small keep them whole (reserve the stalks). Blanch the leaves for 2 seconds in boiling salted water. Then shock quickly in ice cold water so they retain their beautiful bright green color.

to stuff the leaves: lay the leaf flat on your surface, add a tble of the stuffing to the middle of the leaf, roll one, fold in the sides and roll tightly.



Add the remaining 3 tbls of olive oil to the pot, line the swiss chard stalks on top.

Stack the stuffed leaves in a pot so snug so they don't open while cooking. I add the garlic cloves in between the leaves my kids just love them. Ok they actually fight about them. Add the sliced tomatoes on top. Add enough water just to slightly cover the leaves. Add salt to tatse. Add a heat proof plate to the top of the stuffed chard leaved so they stay in place and not unfold during the cooking process.



Bring the pot to boil, reduce the heat to simmer, and cook covered for 45 min- 60 minutes until the swiss chard is cooked through.

Serve with a dollop of yogurt and extra squeeze of lemon juice.

They are slightly tangy and so so satisfying. My idea of a perfect pot of comfort food.




  • Mai

Prickly Pear Margarita





In late summer in Palestine, prickly pear, cactus fruits, or صبر are everywhere—a refreshing snack eaten often ice cold straight out of the fridge or served on trays with ice for a weekend brunch.

The flesh is so sweet and refreshing and the seeds are crunchy. There few varieties of prickly pear fruits with really beautiful colors, the inspiration of this summer drink.

  • Level: Easy

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • Total: 15 min

  • Prep: 15 min

Prickly Pear Margarita

Ingredients:



1 lime, halved

Mint salt

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 limes)

Plus 1 lime thinly sliced into rounds to garnish

6 prickly pears, peeled

1/2 cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec

1 cup white tequila

2 cups ice, plus extra for serving

  • In a blender, puree the prickly pears until smooth. Strain the juice into a pitcher.

  • If you like margaritas served in a glass with salt, rub the outside rims of 6 glasses with a cut lime and dip each glass lightly into a plate of mint salt (regular coarse salt will do).

  • Combine the lime juice, grand marnier, tequila, prickly pear juice and ice in a cocktail shaker, shake well, and strain into the rimmed glasses filled with ice.

  • To make a blended margaritas: Add the ingredients to a blender with about 2 cups of ice and process until smooth. Serve in mint salt -rimmed glasses.


To make a non- alcoholic Margarita

Level: Easy

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • Total: 15 min

  • Prep: 15 min

Ingredients:


1 lime, halved

Mint salt

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( from about 5 limes)

Juice of two lemons

Juice of two fresh oranges about 1/2 cup

Plus 1 lime thinly sliced into rounds to garnish

6 prickly pears, peeled

Agave to taste (optional)

Lime sparkling water about 2 cups

2 cups ice, plus extra for serving

Directions to mix: follow direction steps above just omit the alcohol and add the sparkling water right before serving.


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