Purslane, Bekaa and Tawlet Ammiq

If I could, I would have lunch everyday at the Tawlet Ammiq. Last year Maria and I cooked at Tawlet in Beirut, we loved the team and the setting. They now have another restaurant in the Chouf Cedar Nature reserve in the village of Ammiq. Overlooking the southern part of the Bekaa valley, the setting is simple and the building eco-friendly.  

I ate salads with ingredients grown in a little orchard, purslane, rocket, parsley, radishes, tomatoes and me'te sometimes referred to as Armenian cucumbers or dinosaur cucumbers. These grow quite long and curl up and the end. They are velvety and not as juicy as the common cucumber but just as crisp and sweet. They require little care and are often not treated. Like pursalne they are a key ingredient to fattoush a lebanese mixed salad with bread.  Just love it!

Me'ete or Dinasaur cucumber (love the name)

Purslane an essential ingredient in Fattoush

In the afternoon I went for a stroll in the Kefraya vineyards. It was warm and breezy. And on my way back I stopped to admire a side road stall selling masses of pumpkins, a very autumnal ingredient. Large pumpkins  orange and bright were stacked in neat rows.  Difficult to believe it is Fall when the weather is warm and wonderful.

The last stop of the day was in  the village of Jdita and I went to a 'mat 'hane'  (which translates as 'mill');  it is a shop which actually sells a lll sorts of grains and pulses as well as ground spices, dried fruits and nuts. I brought brought back for my winter provision, bags of  freekeh, lentils from Thalia, 'baal' chickpeas (untreated and not watered) ground spices and aniseed seeds.

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