Joumana MedlejLondon, GB
I'm a fine artist by day, but my past life as an illustrator and comic artist still haunts me, and the passion for food comes with my Lebanese roots – drawing recipes was the inevitable consequence. With my studio near London's most famous farmer's market, and my home near foraging grounds, I am spoiled for inspiration!
Recipes By Joumana Medlej
When I was still living in Beirut, I regularly had lunch with my grandmother in her neighbourhood Thai restaurant. We never failed to order the pomelo salad for starters, a great favourite. Eventually the restaurant relocated and, for some reason, dropped the salad from their menu. My grandmother was still thinking longingly of it several years on, so I recreated it as far as I could remember, using ingredients easy to find locally. It was a hit!
Any that is left over will keep a few days while getting even tastier as it marinates further. Make sure to return to room temperature before eating, to fully enjoy the flavours.
Madeleines are such lovely little cakes, not overly sweet, and very, well, French. They do dry out after the first day, and that makes a big difference, so I only make them for gatherings. Madeleines are usually made in specialized baking tins to give them their scallop shape, but mini cupcake tins work just as well, or use regular-size cupcake tins and underfill them.
This breakfast from Iran is a nice all-veg change from the usual stuff, but it can equally be made as a side dish, a dip, or take its place in a mezzeh. Or, half-bake a thin pizza crust, spread kadoo pish gaza on, and pop back into the oven till the dough is fully baked.
If you want to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, you'll need to start with 200g (8 oz).
Every time I have potatoes in the house, I end up making this. Garlic+lemon+chilli = heaven on a plate! It's also a great way to use leftover baked potatoes. Some notes:
• You can fry the diced potatoes instead of baking them. I just avoid frying, myself.
• Hot pepper paste is perfect for this, but you can get quite close to it by using dried chilli flakes (or even cayenne powder) and tomato paste.
• Feel very free with the quantities! Have as much garlic, lemon and chilli as you like. And don't worry if you don't have cilantro/coriander leaves at hand, either, I do without it most of the time.
Sfouf is a plural (meaning "rows", referring to how they're cut), just like "brownies", and as much a classic of Lebanese homebaking as brownies are in the US.
Sfouf have a dense texture, are not too sweet (at least with this recipe), and have a startling yellow colour due to the turmeric, which also gives them a particular taste hard to describe. To make them more nutty, you can pour half the batter into the pan, sprinkle nuts liberally, then pour the rest of the batter on top.