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The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Purslane Vegetarian Stew-Edible Weed Stew

This is an edible weed that grows wild in the yard. People unfamiliar with it weed it,
but we eat it. It makes very nutritious salads. The flavor is lemony and the leaves are meaty and delicious. It looks like the jade plant.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper or mixed spices
2 cups purslane, chopped (use leaves and thin stems)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Heat oil in a deep pan, and sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and water, and stir. Bring to a boil. Add purslane, and season with salt and spices and stir. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.

Serve as  soup with bread or with plain white rice.

Purslane Salads Recipes-سلصة البربين

This is an edible weed that grows wild in the yard. People unfamiliar with it weed it, but we eat it. It makes a very nutritious salads. The flavor is lemony and the leaves are meaty and delicious. It looks like the jade plant. 

During my weekly visits to the farmers market looking for purslane,  I was unable to find it. I mentioned my disappointment at work, and one pf my colleague surprised me with a big bag of purslane from her yard. I was so thrilled and promised to share the dishes I make with her.
This is a popular Summer green that we consume in Iraq, and we call it Berbeen.
Rinse it well, and make sure it is pesticide free. Use the stems as well as the leaves for these recipes.
Purslane Tomato Salad

1 cup purslane, chopped (use the thin stems and leaves)
1 large tomato, diced
2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
¼ cup of onion, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
 In a salad bowl, pour the olive oil and lemon and add salt, and stir. Add all the vegetables and stir. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
You can sprinkle 1 teaspoon of ground summac on it if you prefer. You can top the salad with feta cheese too.
Purslane Onion Salad
For this recipe, use sweet Vidalia onions.
1 onion, sliced
2 cups purslane, sliced
1 tablespoon sumac
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Put the onions in a small bowl and sprinkle salt and sumac over it and stir. Cover, and set aside for one hour to wilt and change color. Strain it (do not rinse it), and set aside.
In a salad bowl, put the purslane and add the onions. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil and stir. Sprinkle more ground sumac over it if you prefer.
Decorate with slices of tomatoes, and serve with chicken or kufta  kabobs.
Purslane Yogurt Salad

2 cups purslane, chopped (leaves and stems)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 clove of garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Put purslane in a salad bowl. In another small bowl, pour the yogurt, and add salt and garlic, and olive oil and stir. Pour the yogurt over the purslane and stir. Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator. Serve with rice dishes
Enjoy

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Stuffed Eggplant (Sheikh Mahshi)شيخ محشي والباذنجان


Traditionally, we purchase small eggplants, cut them in half and core them to stuff them. Italian eggplants are medium side, meaty  but a little too large for stuffing.  I decided to cut them lengthwise and top them with meat filling.

2 Italian eggplants, cut lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
½ pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Arabian spice (Seven Spices,Syrian Spice)
1 tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
Heat oil in a pan. Put the eggplants cut side down. Leave it to cook for 10 minutes on medium heat until half way cooked. Turn eggplants to other side and add more olive oil to cook for five more minutes.( you could oil them and put the under the broiler of 10 minutes if you prefer).
In another pan, sauté the meat for 5 minutes and add onions, salt and spices. Cook for 5 minutes and add the tomato and tomato paste, and stir the mixture. Add water and simmer for 10 minutes.
In a deep Pyrex pan, pour ½ cup of water in the bottom of the pan. Scoop one tablespoon of the eggplant flesh and  arrange in the bottom of the dish. Arrange the eggplants. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the meat filling on each half. Spoon some sauce in the Pyrex pan, and around eggplants.
Cover the pan with foil and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 40 minutes.
Serve with plain white rice.
 Enjoy!