Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen: Authentic Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Mediterranean Home Cooking

Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen: Authentic Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Mediterranean Home Cooking

by Julie Ann Sageer, Leah Bhabha


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Since she was six years old, Julie Ann Sageer (nicknamed Julie Taboulie by her close-knit family) has had a passion for cooking the meals of her Lebanese heritage. Just like in her Emmy-nominated cooking show Cooking with Julie Taboulie, each of her recipes comes with hands-on instructions, tips, and tricks for making homemade Middle Eastern dishes using heaps of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Here you’ll find dishes that range from classics like falafel, shawarma, and (of course) taboulie, to warming Bazilla—a stew of tomato, green pea, and lamb—to honey and rosewater-infused desserts.

In these 125 recipes, you’ll learn how easy it is to make such Lebanese staples as fresh labneh (strained yogurt) and how to put together your own delicious, multi-purpose spice mixes. In addition to the delicious meat and chicken dishes, Lebanese cuisine offers a wide variety of vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes, usually with no substitutions whatsoever! Every chapter includes a multitude of dishes for eaters of all kinds and preferences, from meat-lovers to veggie-heads and everything in between.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250094933
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/06/2017
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 44,638
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JULIE ANN SAGEER is the host of the Emmy-nominated Cooking with Julie Taboulie and the upcoming Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen, airing on PBS stations nationwide. Born in Central New York and raised in the Finger Lakes, her warm, welcoming way in the kitchen lends a vibrant quality to the flavorful food she shares.

LEAH BHABHA graduated from Cornell and moved to San Francisco where she worked at Boulettes Larder. Following a year at Food & Wine, she began her own website, One Hungry Pickle. She collaborated with Julie Ann Sageer on Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen cookbook.

Read an Excerpt

Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen

Authentic Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Mediterranean Home Cooking

By Julie Ann Sageer, Leah Bhabha

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2017 Julie Ann Sageer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-09494-0



small plates








Mezza, PRONOUNCED MAH-ZAH, IS A UNIQUELY MIDDLE EASTERN course, and the way every Lebanese meal begins: with a variety of small dishes and bites — we were doing "small plates" way before it was a trend! My favorite thing about mezza is the many tastes you experience at the same time, from luscious, flavorful dips like Hummus b Tahini (Classic Chickpea and Sesame Seed Spread), Mouhamarah, (Roasted Red Pepper–Walnut Spread), and Kibbeh Batata (Potato-Bulgur-Herb Spread) to crunchy pickled veggies, Khoudra wa Kabis, and our unique take on steak tartare, Kibbeh Nayeh. Served with heaps of fresh baked pocket bread, mezza is the perfect start to a meal; with everyone gathered around the many plates, swapping news, conversation, and mouthfuls. Mezza is just as much a course as a social hour in our culture — we Lebanese love to linger over many hours of colorful conversation, good company, and, of course, food! In my selection of Taboulie-approved mezza, there's something for absolutely everyone, no matter your age, hunger level, or dietary preferences! Santein! To your health and happiness!

Hummus b Tahini

classic chickpea and sesame seed spread

Hummus translates literally as "chickpea" in Arabic, and my recipe is a simple, purist's version — creamy and nutty with some lemon and garlic weaved in. If you're scared to try homemade hummus, don't be! It's only a little more work than opening a container, and the flavor is heavenly. Since the chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) need to be soaked overnight, make sure to start this process the day before! I always stick true to tradition and use dried chickpeas instead of canned because of their vibrant fresh flavor.

I like to serve my hummus warm (the Lebanese way!), with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, and a sprinkling of paprika and toasted pine nuts. It's the perfect spread for toasty Khebez Arabi, or "pita bread" (here), or sliced raw veggies. If you're looking for more variety — for a party or gathering — check out my "I Heart Heavenly Hummus Bar." * MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

1 cup dried whole chickpeas
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup tahini (see here), thoroughly stirred
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for toasting the pine nuts
¼ cup pine nuts, for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
2 pinches sweet paprika, for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
6 large pita bread pockets, warmed and sliced into wedges, for serving

One day before you plan to serve the hummus, spread the dried chickpeas evenly into one single layer on a clean surface and discard any that are discolored. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl, cover with 6 cups of cold water, and stir in the baking soda. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature to soak overnight.

The next day, drain the chickpeas and thoroughly rinse with cold water. Place the chickpeas in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and fill with 8 cups of cold water. Cover the pot and place over high heat. When the water comes to a rolling boil, remove the lid, and skim off any foam that has collected on top of the water. Continue to boil the chickpeas for another 10 to 15 minutes, watching carefully to prevent boiling over, and skimming the foam about four or five times.

After the chickpeas have boiled for the additional 10 to 15 minutes, test a chickpea by squeezing it in between your finger, it should be somewhat squishy. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the chickpeas are very soft but still hold their shape, and the skin begins to come off. Taste a chickpea: it should melt in your mouth, with no crunch at all. If needed, continue to cook until the chickpeas are very soft. Drain the chickpeas, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and ¼ cup of the cooked chickpeas for garnish.

Using a food processor, add the garlic, the cooked chickpeas, and process until smooth, pausing periodically to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. If the mixture is too thick and the chickpeas aren't breaking down, add the reserved cooking liquid. When the paste is smooth, add the tahini and fully incorporate into the paste. Add the lemon juice and salt, and process several times until the mixture is silky and a light beige color. You should be able to taste all the ingredients; a lemony taste first and foremost with a subtle hint of garlic and a nutty tahini aftertaste.

In a small pot, melt the unsalted butter on medium-high heat. Once it begins to froth, add the pine nuts and toast for a minute or two, just until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside in a small bowl.

Transfer the hummus from the food processor and, using a spatula, spread the hummus onto a large serving plate or bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the paprika, chopped parsley, and toasted pine nuts and place the reserved whole chickpeas in the center of the hummus or make one of the variations below. Serve warm with the warmed bread.

I Heart Heavenly Hummus Bar

Housemade. Homemade. Handmade. With lots of Lebanese love from my Lebanese kitchen to yours, each of these incredible culinary combinations are drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil

HEAVENLY HUMMUS & HESHWI * Add Heshwi (here) a mouthwatering meat mixture of sautéed onions, luscious lamb meat, freshly chopped mint leaves, and toasted-to-perfection pine nuts spiked with allspice and seven spice.

FEELING FRESH HERB & SPRING ONION * Finish with fresh and finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint leaves, spring onions (scallions), and chives.

SIMPLY SMOOTH STYLE * Add extravirgin olive oil, a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and lightly sprinkle with sea salt.

SELMA STYLE * This one is for my vegetarian sister, Selma! My own version of a vegetarian heshwi. Add finely diced and sautéed Vidalia onions, baby bella mushrooms mixed with freshly minced mint leaves and flat-leaf parsley seasoned with sea salt, allspice, and seven spice topped with toasted-to-perfection pine nuts.

SOME LIKE IT HOT HUMMUS * Add spicy and smoky concoction of cayenne pepper, Aleppo crushed red pepper flakes, and sweet and smoky paprika for a "some like it hot hummus!"

Khoudra wa Kabis

lebanese vegetable crudités

In Arabic, khoudra means "produce," while kabis translates to "pickled." Khoudra wa Kabis always accompany a mezza platter, and is one of my favorite ways of showcasing the seasonal vegetables from my Mama's jinah, or "garden." During the winter months, you'll find even more pickles that we've prepared and stored in our mouneh (pantry). Feel free to experiment with your favorite vegetables, herbs, onions, and olives, and make sure to beautifully arrange all of your seasonal bounty! * MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

1 cup Zaytoun olives, left whole (see here)
4 bell peppers (1 each of red, orange, yellow, and green), cored, seeded, and sliced into spears
3 ripe garden tomatoes, 2 cut into thick wedges and 1 left whole
3 Persian cucumbers (or other seedless cucumbers), sliced into long spears
6 pickled Persian cucumbers (Kabis Khyar), left whole (see here)
6 radishes, trimmed and halved
1 small white onion, quartered
1 cup pickled turnips (Kabis Lefet), left whole (here)
6 pickled baby Indian eggplants (Kabis Batanjan), left whole (see here)
4 scallions, ends trimmed, 2 sliced in half, and 2 left whole
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, left whole
1 small bunch fresh chives, left whole
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 long hot red and green peppers (see here) or Hungarian wax hot peppers

Select a medium to large serving platter. Place the olives in a small bowl in the center of the platter, with another small bowl on the side for the pits. Arrange the bell peppers in a circular pattern around the olive bowl, starting with red, then orange, then yellow, and ending with green. Continue arranging in a circular pattern with the tomato wedges and cucumber spears followed by the radishes and onions around the tomato and cucumber. Place the pickled cucumbers, turnips, and eggplants around the other ingredients, and circle those with the scallions, parsley, chives, and thyme. Finish by placing the long hot peppers all around the other ingredients. Serve cold with other mezza.

Baba Ghanouj

roasted eggplant dip

Baba ghanouj, meaning "father of pestle," is always seen as a sidekick to hummus. The eggplants are charred until silky soft and lightly smoky and then blended with nutty tahini, garlic, fresh lemon juice, and herbs. This earthy eggplant spread is rich and robust and makes a terrific appetizer with warm pita or Khebez Arabi, Khebez Muhamas (crispy pita chips), or as a topping for grilled vegetables or meat. * MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

3 meduim Italian eggplants (see here)
3 garlic cloves
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely minced
1/3 cup tahini (see here), thoroughly stirred
2½ to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
6 large pita bread pockets, warmed and sliced into wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Using a sharp paring knife, pierce small slits all over through the skin of each eggplant, so they will release air and roast evenly. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast on the center rack of the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, turning over halfway through the roasting time, until they are soft and visibly deflated. Remove the eggplants from the oven and transfer from the baking sheet to a cutting board to cool slightly, or until they are still warm to the touch, but can be handled.

Once they have cooled, slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, split apart with your fingers, and scoop out the roasted pulp; discard the peels. Place the pulp in a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl, and press down with a spatula to release as much excess liquid as possible. Set aside.

While the eggplant drains, place the garlic and parsley in a food processor and process until finely minced. Add the tahini, 2 tablespoons of cold water, lemon juice, and salt, and process until well incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically; the consistency should be smooth and silky without being too thick or too thin. Add the roasted eggplant pulp to the food processor and pulse a few times, just enough to incorporate; do not overprocess.

Transfer the baba ghanouj to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes. Serve at room temperature with the warm pita bread.


roasted red pepper–walnut spread

Mouhamarah, pronounced "Moo-hum-moo-rah," means "reddened," referring to this savory spread's bright crimson color. Mouhamarah originated in Aleppo, Syria, and is served throughout the Middle East, usually as a part of the mezza. Smoky-sweet roasted red peppers take the stage, combined with sweet roasted garlic cloves and caramelized onions. Toasted walnuts, pomegranate molasses, a hint of fresh lemon juice, and crushed Aleppo red pepper flakes add even more flavor to my mouhamarah, which you can make using an outdoor grill or in the oven.

Mouhamarah is a perfect spread for my Sumac and Sesame Seed Pita Crisps (see variation here) and is also delicious with grilled vegetables, steak, shrimp, and scallops. * MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

1 head garlic (about 10 cloves)
1½ cups whole walnuts, unsalted and toasted
3 medium red bell peppers
2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ teaspoons sea salt
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (see here)
1½ teaspoons Aleppo crushed red pepper flakes (see here)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Wrap the head of garlic in aluminum foil and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the garlic is completely softened. When roasted, remove from the oven, unwrap the foil (wearing mitts!), and set aside slightly to cool.

While the garlic is roasting, spread out the walnuts in an even layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from the oven and transfer to a small mixing bowl to cool.

Preheat a grill, or set the oven to broil. Lightly oil the bell peppers with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the sea salt. Place on the hot grill (if using) or on a baking sheet under the broiler for 10 to 15 minutes, turning them occasionally, until all sides are evenly charred, the peppers are slightly deflated, and the skin is blistered; this will facilitate peeling off the skins later. Transfer the peppers to a large mixing bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to steam.

While the peppers steam, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the diced onion, season with ½ teaspoon of the sea salt and toss to coat with the oil. Cook until softened, and lightly golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then transfer to a food processor.

By now, the bell peppers should be softened and cool enough to peel. With a small paring knife, scrape the charred skins off the flesh, then slice the roasted peppers down the center and discard the stems and seeds. Transfer all the peppers to the food processor.

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins into the food processor. Pulse this mixture a few times, just enough to incorporate all the ingredients. Add the toasted walnuts and with the food processor running, stream in ¼ cup olive oil until a thick texture forms. Pour in the lemon juice and pomegranate molasses and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper. Pulse the mixture a few more times to combine and create a thick-textured spread with small pieces of walnuts throughout.

To serve, spread out on a plate, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes. Serve with pita chips

Fatteh Hummus

warm chickpea pita chip dip bowl

In Lebanon, this peasant-style layered chickpea dish is often eaten for breakfast, and is a favorite morning meal of my Uncle Dominick. Every time he visits my Sitto (grandmother) in our village in Northern Lebanon, he dives into a big serving of this. I've found, though, that this meatless meal is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Warm chickpeas are smashed with garlic cloves and covered with luscious tahini-spiked laban (yogurt) sauce and topped with fresh herbs, toasted pine nuts and — my favorite part — baked pita chips. While the pita is often fried, I prefer to bake mine for a healthier but still crispy-crunchy version.

Even though using soaked dried chickpeas is more timeintensive, I really recommend it — the flavor makes all the difference to this tasty bowl! * MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

1 cup dried chickpeas or 2 cups canned chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large pita pockets, cut into triangular wedges
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2½ to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 garlic cloves, mashed into a smooth paste
2 cups Laban (homemade Lebanese yogurt, here) or whole milk yogurt
½ cup tahini (see here), thoroughly stirred
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely minced
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika, for sprinkling

If using dried chickpeas: The day before you plan to make the layered dip, place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl, completely submerge them in 6 cups cold water, and stir in the baking soda, which will help to accelerate the softening process. Cover the bowl and let soak overnight at room temperature.


Excerpted from Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen by Julie Ann Sageer, Leah Bhabha. Copyright © 2017 Julie Ann Sageer. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Salatas (Salads)

Sharba (Soups and Stews)

Street Food Stars (Skewers and Sandwiches)

Asha (Main Meals)





Tashquila (Side Dishes)



Salsat, Baharat, Kabees (Sauces, Spices, and Pickles)




Khibbiz, Laban, and Jibneh (Bread, Yogurt and Cheese)




Hillou and Mousharoube (Sweets and Refreshments)

Lebanese Pantry




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