When we had a last minute cancellation from Nidhal due to an accident, Taghreed graciously stepped in and taught our Iraqi cooking class on Monday. Taghreed is originally from Iraq and came to the US a few months ago via Turkey. She is passionate about cooking and sharing her food!
Taghreed shared her recipes and tips and a little bit about her life. Her presence in the kitchen truly transported the group. Her warm smile, the stories of her family, and the aromas in the air made for a great experience. Cooking class guests learned how glorious cooking with dill can be, where to find double peeled fava beans, and how cardamom smells like.
Photo Credits: Bea and Eric Stollnitz
Written by Alanna McDonald
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4-5 cloves of finely minced or mashed garlic
- Olive oil for drizzling
Chopped parsley, tomatoes, and black olives optional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Poke holes in eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. Put them into oven whole for about 30 min, or until they are soft and brown in color.
- When they are cool enough, use a fork to remove the skin. Cut into small chunks and then mash with a fork.
- Mix together tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic. Add to eggplant and combine. Add salt to taste.
- Drizzle olive oil across the top and garnish with parsley, tomato, and black olives as desired.
- 2 Japanese (or English) cucumbers
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 green pepper
- 2 carrots
- ½ bunch of arugula
- ½ bunch fresh basil
- ½ bunch fresh mint
- ½ bunch fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate syrup (can use balsamic vinegar, but use 1 T instead)
- 8 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon powdered cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1 piece pita bread
- 4 tablespoons or more of frying oil
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- Peel and grate carrot, dice tomatoes, slice peppers, cut the cucumbers in half length-wise and then chop into bite sized pieces
- Wash arugula and fresh herbs and combine with other vegetables. Leave herbs whole or in large pieces.
- Combine all ingredients for dressing and then toss with the vegetables.
- Cut pita into small squares (about 1 in. by 1 in.) and then pull apart the layers so that the pieces are thin.
- Heat oil for frying and drop the pita pieces into the oil until they are golden and crispy.
- Garnish the fattoush with pita chips and with some fresh mozzarella.