Lebanese winemaker produces pioneering blue wine

A Lebanese winemaker has started the production of a unique blue-colored wine, made from a water-soluble pigment in the mountains of Lebanon.

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Piter Abi Unes owns Chateau Wadih in the Byblos mountains, about 1,300 meters above sea level. He makes the blue wine from a substance called anthocyanin, which is a compound that gives black grapes their dark color.

“If you add (anthocyanin) to the wine from white grapes, you get a blue wine,” Unes told Sputnik News in a April 24 interview. “I make dry blue and dessert wine. So you can choose according to your taste.”

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The wine is sold online for $16, and can be shipped to some parts of the world. The website describes the drink as an “eletric blue color wine, made by adding pigments to a white wine with the blue component of the grapes skin – a must try wine.”

Unes told Sputnik he is slated to start ramping up production this summer, and ship his first batch to Italy.

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He also plans to launch a non-alcoholic beer produced from apples.

To view more on Chateau Wadih, visit their Facebook page.

5 Lebanese vegan recipes perfect for Veganuary!

Sure, Lebanese foods include an abundance of meat, chicken and seafood, but there are also recipes perfect for vegans!

Lebanese cuisine is rich with whole grains, vegetables and beans that can you help you plan for meals this Veganuary.

Veganuary is a campaign launched in 2014 as a way to encourage people to try vegan for the month of January.

If you are participating this month, or are planning to try vegan in the future, consider these recipes:

Foul Moudamas

vegan lebanese foul

Ingredients

  • 2 15 ounce cans cooked small fava beans
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 punch parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Pour the cooked fava beans with the liquid into heavy saucepan.
  2. Add the mashed garlic, the cumin, the salt and the pepper. Bring to a boil.
  3. Using potato mashed, mash the fava beans partially and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice, the olive oil and half of the chopped vegetables. Stir, adjust the seasoning and remove from the heat.
  5. Spoon the foul moudamas into shallow serving dish and top with the rest of the chopped vegetables.

Recipe courtesy of Sanaa Cooks


Salatet Fassoulia

vegan lebanese white bean salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried cannellini or Great Northern beans, soaked overnight
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 14 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 14 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced into a paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Bring beans and 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are tender, about 50 minutes. Drain beans and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, parsley, cumin, and garlic in a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle garlic mixture over beans, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve bean salad cold or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Saveur.


Mujadara

vegan lebanese mujadara vegan rice and lentil

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 3/4 cups lentils rinsed and sorted
  • 1 cup rice white par-boiled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a deep sauce pot over medium heat and sauté onions until translucent and caramelized, 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add lentils and increase heat to medium-high. Toast lentils for 60 seconds then add 6 cups water. Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are halfway cooked, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add rice, salt and pepper to the pot and bring mixture to a boil. Stir once, cover with lid, then reduce heat to low. Cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  4. Fluff lentils and rice with a fork before serving with caramelized onions.

Recipe courtesy of The Lemon Bowl.


Falafel

vegan lebanese falafel

Ingredients

  • 1 kg green dried fava beans, peeled
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped (cilantro)
  • 3 heads garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground red chili pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour or 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried coriander
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

Directions

  1. Soak beans in water for 24 hours, then drain well. Peel the fava beans.
  2. Mix together the peeled fava beans, chopped parsley, coriander/cilantro, crushed garlic and chopped onions.
  3. Grind in a food processor.
  4. Add all remaining falafel ingredients and process again.
  5. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Knead the falafel mix.
  7. Form spoonfuls of the falafel mixture into balls and flatten slightly.
  8. Heat oil in deep pan over high heat, then fry till browned.
  9. Note: Cooking time does not include 24 hours soaking time for the beans.

Recipe courtesy of Genius Kitchen.


Batata Harra

vegan lebanese batata harra spicy potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 kg desiree potatoes, cut into 2.5 cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and salt. Divide potatoes among 2 baking paper-lined oven trays. Transfer the trays to the oven and roast for 40 minutes, turning once, until golden.
  3. Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and coriander and cook for 1–2 minutes until the garlic starts to change color.
  4. Add the lemon juice and the hot potatoes to the pan and toss lightly to coat. Season to taste and sprinkle with the cayenne pepper.

Recipe courtesy of SBS Food.

Lebanese-American food blogger releases first cookbook

(LANSING, MI) — Michigan-based food blogger Maureen Abood is a second-generation Lebanese-American whose passion for authentic Lebanese cuisine led her into a writing career, which has helped popularize the rising trend of Lebanese food.

Abood, who grew up in Lansing, Michigan, recently penned her first cookbook called Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from my Lebanese Kitchen (Running Press, $30).

The book is based on Abood’s award-winning blog, which is updated frequently with new recipes and family stories of Lebanese cooking.

“I think that I have a great opportunity to form a bridge, to open a door and to say, have a look at this piece of Lebanese culture — of Middle Eastern culture — because this might be not exactly what you expect,” Abood told the Lansing State Journal.

Abood said the cookbook intertwines her love of cooking with the importance of family and ethnic traditions — something that’s highly valued in Lebanese culture, she says.

Rose Water & Orange Blossoms has been described as a “love letter” to Lebanese food and a “rich” and “delicious” family story.

According to Running Press, the cookbook presents more than 100 recipes of popular Lebanese favorites with an American twist, including spiced lamb kafta burgers, avocado tabbouleh in little gems, and pomegranate rose sorbet.

Weaved throughout are the stories of Abood’s Lebanese-American upbringing and the path that led her to culinary school at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco, California. Abood said her family is originally from Deir Mimas, a small town in south Lebanon.

“Maureen is a special kind of cookbook author – insightful, mindful of tradition, always appreciative,” said Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day. “She uniquely uses charm, experience, warmth, and evocative storytelling to invite us into the seductive realm of her Lebanese table.”

To learn more about Abood’s cookbook, visit MaureenAbood.com.

Lebanese shawarma wins ‘world’s tastiest sandwich’

(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — The infamous Lebanese shawarma was named “world’s tastiest sandwich” by London-based food network FoodieHub after a local Beirut-based restaurant won the top award among 4,000 nominees across 150 cities.

Joseph’s Restaurant in Sin El Fil, which has been operating for 20 years, was nominated by Lebanese food blogger Anthony Rahayel, who runs the popular blog NoGarlicNoOnions.

Rahayel described Joseph’s shawarma as “fulfilling without being heavy.””I loved the quality of the ingredients, the juiciness of the meat, the crunchiness of the vegetables and the tenderness of the bread,” wrote Rahayel on a blog post from November 2014.

“The adequate amount of fat, the spiciness and that’s it. Not over done, and not spilling from all sides, the sandwich is really unique.”

Rahayel said his blog’s mission is to show “the other side of Lebanon,” referring to a more positive image of the country’s cuisine and culture.

“I wanted to let everyone see and learn how our various dishes are prepared, how they vary from one town to another, one city to another and even from one home to another,” Rahayel wrote.

Foodiehub described the shawarma to be: “Thin and fresh bread, two layers of it, wrapped around a generous portion of meat of chicken alongside accompaniments; premium quality, without any sauces or sophistication. Pure beef, premium chicken, juicy, tender with lettuce, pickles and fries for the white meat and parsley and tartar for the brown.”

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