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Lebanese Mezze Recipes from My Cooking School in Uzès

A Lebanese Mezze consists of several small dishes for sharing with others. Every culture has its culinary creation to bring people together over a meal. For instance, Spanish tapas and American picnics! These are several recipes from Le Pistou Cooking School in Uzès for a workshop called Lebanese Bites. You learn and sample all of these recipes in one cooking class. Whether you are in Provence or elsewhere globally, the ingredients are easy to find.

I find that it’s easy to lose interest in daily cooking at the end of winter. But, especially if you’re environmentally friendly and cook with local seasonal ingredients, we have seen the same vegetables by this time of the year and are craving something new! So why not try something Lebanese – suitable for every season and a firm favourite among all those worldwide Ottolenghi fans.

Lebanese Bites

These recipes are classics and intended for sharing, will feed at least five (5) people for a meal or more for a cocktail affair.

Lebanese pita bread is easy to make at home, but you need enough time to allow the dough to rise. Best served warm, and you can dip it in the Labneh spread!

Lebanese Mezze lebanese bread

Soft Lebanese Pita Bread

blankPetra Carter
A fluffy bread that will satisfy everyone!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Breads
Cuisine Lebanese
Servings 5 people

Ingredients
  

  • 160 ml Warm Water
  • 2 tsp Dry Fast Action Yeast
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 120 ml Warm Milk
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 400 g All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder

Instructions
 

  • Pour the warm water into a bowl and dissolve the yeast and sugar until it starts to get foamy. Stir in the milk, oil, salt, baking powder and 2 cups of flour.
  • Stir well and then knead in the remaining flour until the dough comes together and leaves the sides of the bowl. Continue to knead for 5 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces and form it into balls. Preheat a skillet or cast iron pan to medium-low heat. 
  • Roll each ball out to an 18cm circle, then cook each side of the bread for 2-3 minutes or until brown spots form and the bread is cooked through.
Keyword Breads
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Slow-roasting meat is one of the simplest ways to cook some cuts that would otherwise dry out too much. For this lamb shoulder, I used za’atar which is a mixture of savoury dried herbs like oregano, marjoram or thyme, just like the Provençal herbs from the garrigue. But for extra flavour, the Lebanese add a few toasted spices like cumin and coriander seeds together with sesame seeds, salt sumac. The latter adds a delicious tanginess and is used a lot in Lebanese cooking.

Lebanese Mezze slowcooked lamb shoulder with tahini yoghurt

Slow-roasted Lamb Shoulder with Za’atar

blankPetra Carter
The slow roasting process creates a juicy lamb and the za'atar will add a little spice!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Small Plate
Cuisine Lebanese
Servings 7 People

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 kg Lamb Shoulder
  • 60 ml Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Fleur de Sel
  • 1 ½ tbsp Za’atar Plus extra to serve
  • 150 ml Chicken Stock or Water

Tahini Yoghurt

  • 80 g Tahini
  • 160 g Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses Thinned with Water

Instructions
 

  • Garnish: pomegranate seeds and freshly chopped coriander
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Rub the lamb with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tsp fleur de sel. Transfer to a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes or until golden.
  • Sprinkle with za’atar, pour in the stock and cover. Reduce the oven to 160°C (325°F) and roast the lamb for 2½ hours.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill until needed for the tahini yoghurt. If you prefer the sauce a little thinner, dilute with a bit of water.
  • Once the lamb is cooked, sprinkle with more za’atar and serve drizzled with tahini yoghurt (diluted with a bit of water) and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander.
Keyword Lamb, Tahini
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Labneh is a delicious spread that can be served with pita bread. You can mix the ingredients ahead of time and store them in the fridge. Add the Za’atar oil before serving and enjoy!

Lebanese Mezze labneh with pomegranate and olive oil

Labneh Spread + Za’atar Oil

blankPetra Carter
A thick creamy yoghurt designed to be eaten as a dip.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Resting Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 5 mins
Course Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine Lebanese
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 350 g Greek Yoghurt
  • tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions
 

  • Mix all the yoghurt with lemon juice and salt. Pile into a sieve and suspend it over a bowl for 24 hours.
  • Spread the mixture in a pretty serving dish and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with either za’atar or Aleppo pepper, some pomegranate seeds, or chopped pistachios.
Keyword Yoghurt, Za'atar
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Typically shawarma includes meat, but this quick recipe with cauliflower and pomegranate creates a healthy flavourful dish. Most importantly, it is a vegetarian dish that everyone will love!

Lebanese Mezze cauliflower shawarma

Cauliflower Shawarma with Pomegranate

blankPetra Carter
A wonderful mix of cauliflower, nuts, and pomegranate creates a tasty dish!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Small Plate
Cuisine Lebanese
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 100 g Butter melted
  • tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 clove of Garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp Cardamom Seeds crushed
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Ground Sumac
  • 1 whole head of Cauliflower cut into florets

Tahini Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp Tahini
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 clove of Garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses thinned with water

Garnish:

  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley chopped
  • tbsp Pine Nuts toasted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F).
  • In a small bowl combine the melted butter with the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, sumac.
  • Break or cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces, put it into a bowl and drizzle with the marinade.
  • Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the diluted pomegranate molasses and whisk until smooth.
  • Bake the marinated cauliflower florets until charred all over (about 15 minutes).
  • Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with the tahini sauce and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, parsley and pine nuts before serving.
Keyword Cauliflower, Tahini
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Petra Carter

Petra Carter

Petra Carter is the smiling face behind the cooking school Le Pistou. The cookery school is centrally located in Uzès, right next to the tourist office and steps away from the main boulevard. The one-time garage was wholly transformed into a bright, lofted space equipped explicitly for cooking classes.

This lady - previously the food-editor of Irish Tatler - has developed several options for classes at le Pistou Cookery School. There are workshops and multi-day classes where students dive into the magic of cooking with flavours of the South of France.

2 Comments

  1. blank
    Fidelma Ormsby
    March 6, 2022 at 5:27 am — Reply

    5 stars
    Love this simple yet very tasty Labneh. Will try it with Pistachios next time.

    • blank
      March 6, 2022 at 6:00 pm — Reply

      Thanks for reading about these recipes from Petra Carter.

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