I also still make Bryant Terry’s berbere blend from Vegetable Kingdom, and just yesterday I made his Green Rice. It is fantastic. I intended to make the Turmeric-Pickled Cauliflower from Flavors of the Sun yesterday, but I decided to roast my head of cauliflower instead because it’s a great accompaniment to the green rice.
Here’s an outline of that rice for anyone who wants to try it:
Make “cashew cream” by soaking some raw cashews and blending them with a little water the next day until smooth.
Soak 1 cup of rice for a while or overnight. Drain well.
Blend up 1 c kale, 1 c spinach, 2 T of the cashew cream, 1 1/2 c liquid, 1 t salt, and 1/2 cup green pepper (I often use poblanos or Anaheims, sometimes roasted first).
Toast the drained rice in some oil. Add some minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the green blend. Bring the rice to a boil and then reduce to low. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, then remove from heat. Allow to sit with lid on for some time before fluffing.
The cashew cream added wonderful body and richness to this rice. It’s a regular at our house; it goes with some many things.
I won’t be able to cook from Flavors of the Sun again until near the end of the month, but for now the Everyday Swiss Chard is closest to a “forever” recipe. I’ve enjoyed the leftovers for several days.


I just got the book, maestra. And I have a cocktail party I’m hosting this weekend. Do you think this will be good made as a batch? Will people love this?

A little humor from the store itself - I stopped by couple of days ago:


I picked up some delicious prepared jumbo lima beans from their deli, and went looking for a similar recipe in the book but sadly no luck.


Also picked up rose and orange blossom water for another HO, and a few other bits and bobs, but it was mostly picking up things and then putting them back because I have something similar in stock already. Temptation island!


Those beans are beautiful! I would love to just knock around in the store looking at whatever. Would probably buy a lot of stuff I don’t need.


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Folks, it’s time to start nominating for September. The thread is here:

@maestra and @Valadelphia , can you please check your PMs?

Random bits from the book–these don’t really need a full report, just some bullet points!

  • beets roasted with pomegranate molasses. Just wanted to try something different, but to me, sweet beets don’t need this–I prefer to take them in a less-sweet direction.

  • zaatar roasted potatoes – a delicious use!

  • made the salmon kebabs with nigella again, got a good pic this time!
    salmon kebab



Stop what you are doing and make this. Even if you were always meh on tabouli, as I was. This calls for coarse bulgur that you soak in an olive oil and lemon juice mixture containing Aleppo pepper, sumac, garlic–mine did take the full 48 hours to soften. I plan to try with a fine bulgur to compare.
You also top with scallions, mint, parsley, dill, and cucumbers. I was out of dill but it was still great. I did find that the mint discolored so would add that later next time or use dried mint.
Before serving, you top with thinly sliced fennel and toasted pine nuts.
I only got to eat this once as I was going out of town, and husband ate of the rest and raved. I can’t wait to make it again and try all kids of other combos with bulgur. This is also perfect if you are in the heat wave and don’t want to have to heat anything (except the nuts). I typically prefer my fennel cooked also, but this may have converted me.
bulghur fennel


This is like the next best thing to being in the Mediterranean. We have cracked the calamari code–on a charcoal grill, these were easy and delicious. The marinade contains mint, parsley, cumin, and Urfa pepper. Ate too quickly to bother with any arugula!


This one was a bit of a miss for me, but it was probably due to the spice mixture I used. I had some harissa spices set aside–my version is cumin, coriander, and caraway. Where I went wrong is adding some paprika. I thought the color would be nice, and I wanted to beef it up without adding more heat. I just did not love the flavor of the paprika (paprikas confuse me)–it was Spanish sweet smoked.
I also used a spicy liquid harissa as called for. I am not sure the double harissa is really needed. Lesson being, make sure you love your harissa blend before putting it on expensive fish!
harissa salmon


Glad to know that fennel dish is good. It’s been on my radar from the get-go, but I still haven’t gotten to it.

Good to hear! I thought this sounded really good.

Voting for September is here:


This was a departure from my usual hummus. It uses less tahini than I would normally use, has no garlic, and includes the add-ins of fresh dill, red pepper flakes, and cayenne. I cooked my chickpeas in the Instant Pot. Measured out the amount called for, although I might have been just a tad shy of the full amount. You are supposed to include three tablespoons of cooking liquid. I found this wasn’t enough. I ended up using twice that amount, and the hummus was still thicker than what I usually like. The dill, pepper flakes, and cayenne are stirred in at the end. The flavor was vibrant lemon, and there was a definite kick from the chile. Didn’t miss the garlic at all, and I was even OK with the scant amount of tahini. Mr. MM particularly liked this hummus. The one thing I would change is to add even more chickpea liquid to get this a bit looser in texture. Served with a riff on the fennel salad from p. 118, homemade flatbread with za’atar, and pattypan squash pickles.



I can’t have bulgur, so had to adapt this recipe. I used quinoa instead, and I went ahead and cooked it, so I didn’t have the softening process that Valadelphi describes above. Because of this, I reduced the lemon juice and olive oil in the recipe by half. I kept all the other quantities in the dressing the same. Because I didn’t need to soften bulgur, I also skipped the layering and resting, and just tossed everything together. Even with the reduction in the amount of dressing, my version of the salad was a bit overdressed. It seemed to go from underdressed to over very quickly. I would reduce the dressing to 1/3 of the original next time (once again keeping seasonings at full amount). It was still a good salad, and I’d happily repeat. For pic see my report on the bold and spicy hummus from p. 156.


September COTM announcement:

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Rice, milk, sugar, mahlab and salt are cooked until it starts to thicken. Milk and egg are combined and added to the rice mixture along with dried cherries. Cook until thick and creamy. I didn’t love this and I didn’t hate it. I think slivered almonds would be a good addition. The mahlab is a new flavor for me and maybe it will grow on me. I am interested to know if anyone else has used mahlab before.

I used it in a biscotti recipe. I can’t remember if I was wowed, I’ll have to see if I made any notes on the recipe. Someone on Chowhound raved about the recipe … that’s why I was so keen on trying it, had to hunt down Mahleb.

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I’m new to the canary melon we like it sweet flavor without being mushy.

I can see blueberries working nicely next time !