Labneh

What can’t one do with labneh, the soft, creamy, yogurty cheese of the Middle East? Some things you can definitely do: Dip your veggies in it. Spread it on bread. Use it as a “dressing” on a salad of spinach, red onion, and tapenade. Dunk your over-easy eggs in it. Here’s how to make labneh the easy way.

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JVRP Salmon (Salmon with Pesto, Sundried Tomato Paste, and Lemon)

My terrible photos really do not do this one justice! This is my recipe for JVRP Salmon, named for the excavation where I first made this dish. I was looking for something to make for a potluck, but only had access to a barbecue and a small electric hob. Knowing that most people would make meat on the grill, I decided to go for fish, and make use of the magic that is aluminum foil. This dish can be made very quickly if you’re short on time, but two of the more complicated ingredients can be made from scratch, if you are looking to make the whole thing a bit more involved.

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Basil-Almond Pesto

Another recipe inspired by quickly expiring produce from my friend’s market share! In this case the basil I received had begun to oxidize, so I wanted to use it before it went completely dark and limp. I also used some basil from the plant I am growing on my window sill. I really do not like pignoli (pine nuts), so I decided to make my pesto with almonds, but you can use pignoli and follow the same basic recipe if you’d like.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes with Chive Dipping Sauce

This recipe is probably the most requested of all the things I make, but it’s not my own: the original comes from Orna and Ella in Tel Aviv, and there are tons of reproductions of their recipe online, including this one from Food 52, which is the basis for the one I’m sharing here. The sauce is really versatile, and can be used as a dip for veggies or pita, or spooned onto nachos in the place of regular old sour cream. It’s also really great on fish.

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