Lebanese Table


Lebanon, once called "The pearl of the middle East",  is bordered by the Mediterranean SeaIsrael and Syria.   At one time or another Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, European Crusaders, Ottomans, and French all ruled and had influence over the land and its cuisine .

Christianity was introduced to Lebanon under the Roman Empire and persisted even after the coming of Islam with the Arab conquest (7th cent). 

Most Lebanese Christians belong to the Maronite Church, which has similar beliefs to the Roman Catholic Church, but has its own priests.

The story of Lebanon's food is the story of empires, trade routes, many cultures , religion and climates.

Stuffed grape leaves, cabbage, eggplant and squash are delicious Arab dishes. They are also widely used throughout Greece and Turky

Lebanon cuisine is richer than any other Arab countries due to their milder climate, and indeed, any cuisine is dependent upon climate and geography.

Lebanese cuisine is known as the finest in the Middle East. The country’s cuisine characterized by the use of a wide variety of olive oil, herbs, spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, cereals, fish and meat.  Many dishes are based on grains, vegetables and fruit.

While the cuisine of Lebanon doesn't boast an entire repertoire of sauces, it focuses on herbs, spices and the freshness of ingredients. The assortment of dishes and combinations are almost limitless. The meals are full of robust, earthy flavors and, like most other countries in this region, much of what the Lebanese eat is dictated by the seasons.


A staple of Lebanese cuisine are the mezze, small dishes include pickled vegetables and olives, marinated cheese, sausages, lentils, pastries, salads, grilled eggplant, meat and many more …. 

Kubbeh is a staple dish all through the
Middle east but different from country to country. In Lebanon it is made from burgul, ground lamb or beef, spices and lots of fresh mint leaves. 

Kubbeh can be eaten baked, fried, cook in soup or even raw . Instead of burgul you can use rice or semolina.

The main dish will include skewers of grilled meat and/or chicken and variety of meat balls.

A Lebanese meal will not end without sweet pastries, milk puddings and fresh fruit (what's in season) as apples, oranges, tangerines, grapes, water melon, figs, grapes and many more.  

Coffee is preferred thick, strong and sometimes slightly scented. Tea is served sweet with mint. Arak, an anise flavored liqueur, is the National Lebanese drink .


Kibbeh Nayyeh (raw)

600 g' mutton leg
1 C burgul
1 onion
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Rinse burgul well . Cover with water and let it soak for half an hour. Chop the meat and onion together .  Add salt and pepper. Press burgul between your hands to squeeze out the water and add it to the meat and onion.

Knead at length with the palm of the hand, often dipping your fingers in cold water. Spread in a dish.  Decorate with fresh mint leaves and store about 15 min in the fridge before serving.


Baked Meatballs

600 gr' ground lamb 
2 C crushed tomatos
2 onions
salt & pepper
2 tab oil

Finely chop the onions and mix them with the meat along with salt and pepper. Knead well and make balls the size of a nut. Brown the balls in oil and put them in a greased baking dish. Cover with crushed tomatos and cook for 25 min at medium high. Turn over the balls once



1 1/2 cups cold water 
2 heaped teas ground Arabic or Turkish coffee
2 teas sugar
a pinch of ground cardamom

In a coffee pot dissolve the sugar in water and bring to a boil. Add the coffee with ground cardamom and stir well. Bring to a boil again.

When the foam rises to the top, remove the coffee pot from the heat to let the foam subside for about a minute. Return the pot to the heat and boil once more.



2 cups walnuts or pistachio nuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup sugar mix with 2 tabs cinnamon
1 pound package phyllo dough
1 pound unsalted butter



When working with phyllo, always keep sheets that are not being used covered with damp cloth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 18-by-12-inch heavy pan with high sides with butter. Do not use a cookie sheet. Add half of dough. Combine nuts, cinnamon and sugar in bowl. Sprinkle over layer of dough. Top with remaining half of dough. Make diagonal crisscross cuts through dough, an inch apart, creating diamond-shaped pieces. Pour melted butter over all and bake in preheated oven 45 minutes. Cover with cold syrup.


3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon rose water 

Dissolve sugar in water, add lemon juice and bring to a boil. Skim off foam and continue to boil stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes) Add rose water  towards the end of cooking. Let syrup cool.


Lamb with eggplant

3 medium eggplants, peeled and sliced


1 pound ground lamb

3 tabs vegetable oil + 1/2 cup for frying

1 teas cinnamon

2 cups chopped onion

1 teas turmeric

1 teas salt

4 large sliced tomatoes

2 tabs tomato paste, dissolved in 1/2 cup water & 1 teas sugar


Sprinkle eggplant slices sides with salt. Let the eggplant sit in a colander for 20 minutes to drain. Squeeze out the excess moisture, rinse and pat dry.

In a large pan brown the meat . Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add onion and continue cooking until soft. Add turmeric and salt, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked through.

Using the remaining oil, brown the eggplant slices in a large skillet. Remove and set aside to drain on paper towels. Brown the tomato slices in the same pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a layer of half the fried eggplant in an ovenproof dish. Cover the eggplant with the meat. Put the tomatoes on top of the meat, cover with remaining eggplant slices.

In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste with the sugar and pour on top. Warm some more.



Rice Kubbeh


600 gr' cubed beef

1.5 cups powdered rice


1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1 Tab chicken fat

Lemon juice


Grind the meat twice in a food processor until it has attained a pasty consistency. Add powdered rice and salt.  Put it through the food processor again.

Make balls . Stuff with mixture of toasted pine nuts, 1/4 a teaspoon chicken fat . Seal the kibbeh and form them into little flat-bottomed "hills". Fry them until brown. Put them in a large casserole, barely covered with water and let the water boil. Add the juice of two lemons. Simmer until water has evaporated .





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