(Recipes reprinted from the Orange County Register)
By Faye Levy and Yakir Levy
From velvety dips and spreads to vibrant salads to rosewater-spiked treats, Middle Eastern cuisine is as colorful as it is delicious. You may have noticed hummus rising in popularity over the past few years, with a huge array of flavors available at most grocery stores and markets. But you might not have tried the colorful variety of other Middle Eastern dips out there. Never fear: We’ve gathered an array for you to try soon. Grab fresh pita, pita chips, flat bread or favorite crackers and get ready to taste some wonderful favorites.
“Middle Eastern cuisines are known for a variety of meat dishes but cooks make many colorful and healthy vegetable dips as well, to serve as appetizers or side dishes. Armenian, Turkish, Lebanese, Syrian or Palestinian meals sometimes begin with an array of such dips. At home, we make those savory, easy to prepare dips and spreads mostly from pantry foods combined with one or two fresh ingredients,” says Faye Levy, culinary columnist and award-winning author.
Faye is the lead cooking columnist for the Jerusalem Post and the author of 23 critically acclaimed cookbooks, including Feast from the Mideast and 1,000 Jewish Recipes. She has won prestigious prizes for her cookbooks, including a James Beard Award. A syndicated cooking columnist, she has contributed many articles to the country’s top newspapers, as well as to Gourmet, Bon Appetit and other magazines. One of Faye’s cookbooks, Feast from the Mideast, offers a veritable banquet of authentic, tempting dishes and is the ultimate all-in-one guide to the wholesome cuisines of these historic, sun-drenched lands:
“For almost four decades, Faye Levy has shopped, cooked, and dined her way through the Mideast, and her enthusiasm for this flavorful, unfussy cuisine will inspire you to make these ancient culinary traditions your own. Featuring the bold flavors and simple, healthy techniques of more than ten countries, this collection has dishes for every occasion, from dinner-party feasts to quick and healthy weekday meals. Faye’s repertoire of fresh, mouthwatering specialties ranges from a simple sandwich enlivened by a zesty Grilled Eggplant Sesame Dip to elegant Grilled Lamb Chops spiced up with Garlic Cumin Tomato Salsa. Chef Faye takes readers beyond hummus and falafel-although she offers stellar recipes for both of these classics.”