Salma & Her Food

‘ I’m a professional English cook. I went to college and worked for over 30 years as a cook, but at home… I cook Lebanese ’ – Salma Hage


Salma Hage, a Lebanese housewife from Mazarat Tiffah (Apple Hamlet) in the mountains of the Kadisha Valley in North Lebanon, has over fifty years experience of family cooking. She learnt to cook from her mother, mother-in-law and sisters-in-law, and, having helped bring up her nine brothers and two sisters, would often cook for the whole family. She has also spent many years working professionally as a cook.

Salma’s Food

‘For me family and cooking are inseparable, and they are the things I love most in life. So it makes sense that since my son and grandson George have become vegan, I too have returned to my roots and gradually become much less interested in meat’ – Salma Hage


Salma’s eating habits have come full-circle in the some fifty years in which she has been cooking. For the first two of three decades of her life, as it had been for many earlier generations, her diet was mostly vegetarian, with meat very much reserved for celebrations. Then, after the Second World War, as luxuries gradually became more available, she began to cook with more meat. Over the years, she compiled her definitive book on her home country’s cuisine, The Lebanese Kitchen.


More recently though, Salma and her family have found themselves becoming less and less interested in meat once again.

Cooking at home has once more become about eating more vegetables, pulses and grains. At first, it was a challenge – my husband especially associated being vegetarian with being poor. We have begun to realise that we simply don’t need a lot of meat to eat well or feel satisfied. – Salma Hage


And so, though she will still cook meat for a large party or special occasion, Salma’s latest book is about how she likes to cook at home now – simple, vegetarian, mezze-stlye dining.

‘Reading Salma's book, I feel an intense sentiment of familiarity.'

Alain Duncasse

‘Hage's falafel are without a doubt the best falafel I've ever had, especially dipped in her zinging garlic and sesame sauce'

Alex Renton, The Times

‘Hage's food is solid and satisfying.'

The Washington Post


“Middle Eastern food is about getting the best flavours from simple seasonal ingredients. It’s not about what you leave out, but what you put in.” – Salma Hage


A collection of vegetarian dishes influenced by Middle Eastern flavors from Salma Hage, author of the bestselling classic, The Lebanese Kitchen.


A definitive, fresh and approachable collection of 150 traditional recipes from an authoritative voice on Middle Eastern home cooking, Salma Hage’s new book is in line with the current Western trends of consciously reducing meat, and the ancient Middle Eastern culture of largely vegetarian, mezze style dining.


Traditionally, the Middle Eastern diet consisted largely of vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, pulses, grains and legumes. Salma simplifies this fast becoming popular cuisine with easily achievable recipes, many with vegan and gluten-free options.
Drawing inspiration from ancient and prized Phoenician ingredients, from grassy olive oil to fresh figs and rich dates, this book offers an array of delicious breakfasts and drinks, mezze and salads, vegetables and pulses, grains and desserts. Salma shows how to easily make the most of familiar everyday fruits and legumes, as well as more exotic ingredients now widely available outside of the Middle East, with nourishing recipes so flavourful and satisfying they are suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.


“Soulful, traditional family recipes from a Lebanese grandmother who knows her food.” Fran Miller, Acquataste


Following on from Phaidon’s classic home-cooking bibles of national cuisines, which started with The Silver Spoon in 2005 and has continued with 1080 Recipes, Vefa’s Kitchen, I Know How to Cook and India Cookbook, The Lebanese Kitchen is the definitive guide to traditional cuisine from Lebanon.


The Lebanese Kitchenbrings together more than 500 recipes, ranging from light, tempting mezes to rich and hearty main courses.

On the shores of the eastern Mediterranean and a gateway to the Middle East, the food of Lebanon blends textures, colours, scents and flavours from both, and has long been regarded as one of the most refined cuisines in the Middle East.


Many areas produce a range of home-grown fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, apples, figs, beans, grapes and citrus fruits, and there are many traditional recipes that show the uses that resourceful home cooks have developed to make the most of seasonal produce.


Lebanese food has become increasingly popular in the last few years, and is nutritious and healthy (based on vegetables, oil and pulses and a balanced use of meat), as well as aromatic and tempting.

A combination of old favourites and some inspiring surprises, The Lebanese Kitchen is a must for everyone with an interest in this wholesome and delicious cuisine.


Rosewater pancakes with pistachio and honey

Rosewater pancakes with pistachio and honey

Known as ataif, this is usually a crispy and indulgent Arabic treat. Here, I make a breakfast-friendly version that is much less sweet, but still has that fragrant yet subtle flavor of rosewater contrasted with the classic combination of crunchy pistachios and sweet honey. An 8-inch/20-cm crepe pan is perfect for this recipe.


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes per pancake

Serves: 4 (1 lb/450 g batter makes eight 8-inch/20-cm pancakes)


Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center, add the eggs (or add the egg substitute), then pour in the milk slowly.

Add the rosewater and whisk the mixture thoroughly to make a smooth, pourable batter.

Grease the crepe pan with oil. Set over medium heat and

add enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for

2–3 minutes, or until the edges of the pancake begin to pull away from the pan. Flip the pancake over and cook the other side for another 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate while you cook the remaining pancakes.

Serve the pancakes immediately with drizzled honey and pistachios.

V – Replace the milk with soy or almond milk, then replace the eggs with 2 teaspoons egg substitute (such as Orgran No Egg) and add an additional 2⁄3 cup (5 fl oz/150 ml) water.

G – Substitute the flour with a gluten-free flour and add an additional 4 tablespoons water or milk.

1 1⁄4 cup (5 oz/ 140 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
pinch of salt scant
1 cup (7 fl oz/ 200 ml) milk
2 eggs

1 teaspoon rosewater olive oil, for greasing honey or maple syrup, to drizzle
1 cup (5 oz/150 g) pistachios, finely chopped




Preparation time: 30 minutes plus chilling time
Cooking time: 2 minutes
Makes 20

Put the chickpeas, garlic, onion, cilantro (coriander), parsley, cumin, pepper, salt, mint, ground coriander, and baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) into a food processor and process until smooth and thoroughly combined. Tip the mixture into a dish and press down with the back of a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap (clingfilm) and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Use a falafel mold to make 20 falafels, cleaning it each time with hot water. If you don’t have a mold, take walnut-size pieces of the mixture and shape into small patties with your hands. Heat the corn oil in a deep pan. Add the falafel, in batches, and cook until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and keep warm while you cook the remaining batches. Serve hot.

scant 1 cup (7 oz / 2oo g) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water to cover, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
corn oil, for frying

Green lentils, rice and caramelised onions

Green lentils, rice and caramelised onions

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes
Serves 4

Put the lentils in a pan, pour in water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet or frying pan, add the onions, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10–15 minutes until caramelized. Add the rice and salt to the pan of lentils, replace the lid, and simmer for 10–15 minutes until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the cumin, seven spices seasoning, pepper, and caramelized onions and serve warm.

scant 1 cup (7 oz/200 g) green lentils
5 small onions, sliced
½ cup (3½ oz/100 g) instant (easy cook) rice, rinsed
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon seven spices seasoning
½ teaspoon pepper



Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Serves 6-8

Drain the chickpeas, reserving ¼ cup (2 fl oz / 50 ml) of the can juices, and rinse. Put the chickpeas into a food processor, add the garlic cloves and tahini, and process for a few minutes. Add the reserved can juices, followed by half the lemon juice and the sea salt, and process until smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice, if you like. Scrape the hummus into a dish, drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, and serve.24

28 oz / 8oo g canned chickpeas
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons tahini
juice of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons sea salt
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
½ cup (2 oz / 50 g) pine nuts, toasted

Spinach Turnovers

Spinach Turnovers

Preparation time: 45 minutes plus resting time
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 20

Sift together both kinds of flour into a bowl, then tip in the bran from the sifter (sieve) and add the yeast and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the oil, then gradually add the water and mix to a dough. You may need a little less or more water to bring together the dough. Knead for 10 minutes, then return the dough to the bowl and dust lightly with flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (clingfilm) and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the leek and onions, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes, until softened. Add the sumac, seven spices seasoning, and lemon juice and cook for another minute. Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and let cool. Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C/Gas Mark 8. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter. Punch down (knock back) the dough and knead again for a few minutes. Use your hands to make golf ball-sized dough balls and dust them lightly with flour. Thinly roll out each dough ball into a circle, put a little of the spinach filling into the middle, dampen the edges of the dough, and bring up the sides to seal to form a turnover. Put the turnovers onto the prepared baking sheets and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Serve immediately.

1½ cups (7 oz/200 g) hard (strong) whole wheat (wholemeal) flour
1⅓ cups (6 oz/175 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting
1⅛ teaspoons active dry (fast-action) yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1¼ cups (½ pint/300 ml) lukewarm water butter, for greasing
1 egg lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water

For the filling
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
4 small onions, finely diced
1 tablespoon ground sumac
1 teaspoon seven spices seasoning
juice of 1 lemon
9 oz/250g baby spinach, coarse stems removed
salt and pepper



Preparation time: 20 minutes plus soaking time
Serves 6

Put the tomatoes into a strainer (sieve) to drain off any juices. Put the bulgur wheat in a bowl, pour in hot water to cover, and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the wheat in a strainer lined with cheesecloth (muslin), pressing out as much liquid as possible. Mix together the parsley, cucumber, scallions (spring onions), and bell pepper in a bowl. Add the mint and bulgur wheat, then tip in the tomatoes. Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, and olive oil in a bowl, then pour the dressing over the tabbouli and mix well.

20 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1¼ cups (6 oz/175 g) fine bulgur wheat
1 large bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cucumber, diced
4 scallions (spring onions), finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 fresh mint sprigs, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons salt
scant ½ cup (3½ fl oz/100 ml) olive oil

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Preparation time: 45 minutes plus soaking time

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 8-10

If using fresh leaves, bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the leaves, and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and put them on a wire rack to cool. If using leaves preserved in brine, soak them in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry with paper towels. Mix together all the other ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Lay 1 grape (vine) leaf flat on a work surface, put a spoonful of the filling on top, and carefully roll up the leaf into a cigar shape. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling until 40 leaves have been used. Put the remaining leaves in the bottom of a large pan and put the grape leaf rolls on top. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Position a plate snugly on top of the leaves and pour in enough boiling water to cover. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 50 – 60 minutes. Carefully lift out the grape leaf rolls with a slotted spoon and serve warm.

50 grape (vine) leaves
1 cup (7 oz / 200g) long-grain rice, rinsed
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
14oz / 400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon seven spices seasoning
olive oil, for drizzling
salt and black pepper

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush

Creamy, garlicky, and addictive, it is no wonder that baba ganoush is famous around the globe. For the perfect accompaniment, carefully toast some Pita Bread (page 70) directly over a low gas flame of your stove and use to dip them in.


Preparation time: 10 minutes + cooling time

Cooking time: 30–45 minutes

Serves: 4–6


Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6. Put the eggplants (aubergines) onto a baking sheet, prick them all over with a fork, then roast in the oven for 30–45 minutes, until soft. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and discard. Set the flesh aside to cool completely.

Put the garlic into a mortar with a little salt and crush with a pestle, then add the tahini and lemon juice and mix well.

When the eggplant flesh is cool, chop it finely, transfer to a bowl, and add the garlic-tahini mixture. Season well and thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Place on a serving plate, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.

3 eggplants (aubergines)
2 small cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Tahini
juice of 1⁄2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
handful pomegranate seeds, for sprinkling
salt and pepper


Eggplant and pomegranate salad with toasted pine nuts

Eggplant and pomegranate salad with toasted pine nuts

Meaty eggplant (aubergine) and sweet-and-sour pomegranate make a delicious pair here, with toasted pine nuts offering
a finishing crunch.


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4


Preheat the oven to 400oF/200oC/Gas Mark 6.
Put the coriander and cumin seeds into a mortar and crush

them with a pestle. Toast them in a dry skillet or frying pan for a few minutes, or until fragrant.

Put the eggplants (aubergines) into a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle on the toasted coriander and cumin seeds.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil onto a baking sheet. Dip the eggplants lightly in the flour. Place them on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until chargrilled and slightly crisp. Let cool.

While the eggplants are roasting, mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.

Put the roasted eggplants into a bowl, pour 1–2 tablespoons of the dressing, and toss well. Let stand for 10 minutes so the dressing can absorb.

Heat 2 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet or frying pan and lightly toast the pine nuts until golden.

Add the chopped parsley, spinach, and pomegranate seeds to the eggplants and toss together well. Sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts and serve with the remaining dressing.

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 eggplants (aubergines), peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for frying
2 garlic cloves, crushed
gluten-free flour, for dusting
2⁄3 cup (3 1⁄2 oz/100 g) pine nuts
1 bunch parsley, leaves coarsely chopped
handful baby spinach leaves, chopped
handful pomegranate seeds
salt and pepper for the dressing
4 tablespoons pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
juice 1⁄2 lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper


Fig tart with almonds

Fig tart with almonds

Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus chilling time
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves 8

First, make the dough. Sift together the flour and salt into a bowl, add the butter, and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (This can also be done in a food processor.) Stir in the sugar, then add the egg yolk, and mix to a smooth dough, adding 1 tablespoon of water if necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap (clingfilm) and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°f/180°c/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease a loose-bottom 9½ inch/24 cm tart pan. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to ⅛ inch / 3 mm thick. Carefully line the prepared pan, letting a little of the dough overhang the edge. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Prick the bottom of the pie shell (pastry case) with a fork, line with wax (greaseproof) paper, fill with pie weights (baking beans or dried beans), and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and weights, return the pie shell to the oven, and bake for another 5–10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Let stand on a wire rack to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°f/150°c/Gas Mark 2.

To make the filling, beat the butter with the superfine (caster) sugar until light and creamy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Add the ground almonds and flour and mix well. Spread the almond mixture over the bottom of the pie shell, then press the figs into it. Sprinkle with the slivered (flaked) almonds and demerara sugar and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove the tart from the pan, dust with a little confectioners’ (icing) sugar, and serve warm or cold.

1¼ sticks (5 oz/150 g) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (5 oz/150 g) superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
2 eggs
1½ cups (5 oz/150 g) ground almonds
2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
12 figs, cut into quarters
2 tablespoon slivered (flaked) almonds
1 tablespoon demerara or other raw sugar
confectioners’ (icing) sugar, for dusting

For the sweet pastry dough
1¼ cups (5 oz/150 g) all-purpose (plain) flour,
plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3 oz/80 g) unsalted butter,
chilled and diced, plus extra for greasing
¾ cup (3 oz/80 g) confectioners’ (icing) sugar
1 egg yolk

Anise Cookies

Anise Cookies

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 20

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter. Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric handheld mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and milk and beat for another few minutes. Sift the flour into the bowl and add the salt, ground anise seed (aniseed), if using, and baking powder. Using a metal spoon gently fold in the dry ingredients. Fold in the Pernod, if using. Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Roll each piece into a sausage shape and cut into 1¼ inch/3 cm slices. Put the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets spaced well apart. Brush with a little milk and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool, then store in an airtight container.

1¼ sticks (5 oz/150g) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
⅔ cup (4½ oz/130 g) superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons milk, plus extra for brushing
2 cups (11½ oz/330 g) all-purpose (plain) flour,
plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
1½ teaspoons ground anise seed (aniseed), ground star anise,
or Pernod
2 teaspoons baking powder

Ma’mool Cookies

Ma'mool Cookies

Preparation time: 1 hour plus resting time
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 40

Melt the butter in a large pan, then stir in the semolina, sugar, and mahleb. Push the mixture down into the pan, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand for at least 3 hours or overnight at room temperature. To make the date filling, put the dates in a microwave-proof bowl, add 1 tablespoon water, and cook on high for 2 minutes. Mash with a fork and add the spice. Roll the mixture into about 14 small balls. To make the walnut filling, put all the ingredients into a blender and process to fine crumbs. To make the pistachio filling, put the nuts and sugar into a blender and process to coarse crumbs. Tip into a bowl and stir in the rose water and orange flower water. Return the pan of semolina mixture to low heat for a few minutes to loosen, then tip the mixture into a bowl. Add the flour, yeast, rose water, and 2 tablespoons water. Knead the mixture in the bowl, adding 1-2 tablespoons more water if required, for about 15 minutes until a dough forms. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160 °c/Gas Mark 3· To make the ma’mool, take a handful of dough and dust with flour, then flatten into a patty. Put 1 tablespoon walnut filling, or 1 tablespoon pistachio filling, or 1 date ball in the middle of the patty, then wrap the dough around the filling. Roll in flour and press into a ma’mool mold. Tap the mold on the work surface to release the cookie and put it onto a baking sheet. If you don’t have the molds, use an individual gelatin (jelly) mold or cut a decorative shape with a ravioli cutter. Repeat the filling and shaping until all the dough and filling mixtures have been used. Bake for 30- 40 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

4½ sticks (1 lb 2 oz/500 g) unsalted butter
6 cups (2¼ lb/1 kg) coarse semolina
3 tablespoons superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
2 tablespoons mahleb
2¼ cups (10 oz/275 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting
1¼ teaspoons active dry (rapid rise dried) yeast
2 tablespoons rose water

For the date filling
11 oz/300 g dried pitted dates
1 teaspoon apple pie (mixed) spice

For the walnut filling
scant 1 cup (3½ oz/100 g) shelled walnuts
1 teaspoon superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange flower water
1 tablespoon rose water

For the pistachio filling
¾ cup (3 oz/8o g) shelled pistachio nuts
4 tablespoons superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
1 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon orange flower water

Preserved Pears

Preserved Pears

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 mins
Makes 1 large jar

Pour the vinegar and scant ½ cup (3½ fl oz/100 ml) of water into a heavy stainless steel saucepan, add the sugar, and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. When the liquid comes to a simmer, add the cinnamon, coriander seeds, saffron, and pears, and poach for about 20 minutes or until they become soft but still hold their shape. Remove the pan from the heat and let the pears cool in the poaching liquid for 10 minutes. Put the pears into a sterilized 1-quart (1¾ pint/1 liter) jar, ladle in the poaching liquid to cover, leaving a ½ inch (1 cm) head space, let cool, cover, and seal. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.

10 cups (14 fl oz/400 ml) apple (cider) vinegar
1¾ cups (12 oz/350 g) superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons ground allspice
large pinch of saffron threads, lightly crushed
6 Bosc (Conference) pears, peeled with the stem intact

Konafah with lemon syrup

Konafah with lemon syrup

This typical Lebanese dessert is creamy and indulgent. Though often made with vermicelli, I like to use bread crumbs for a different texture. The orange flower water custard is beautifully offset by golden crumbs.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 6-8


Preheat the oven to 400oF/200oC/Gas Mark 6.
Pour half of the bread crumbs into a 9-inch/23-cm square

baking dish and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes, or until just brown.

Reduce the oven to 350oF/180oC/Gas Mark 4.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, semolina, sugar, and orange flower water, mix well, and cook for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Pour the cream mixture on top of the bread crumbs and top with the rest of bread crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden and the mixture is firm. Sprinkle with edible flowers, if desired.

For the syrup, combine the sugar, lemon leaves, and a scant
1 cup (7 fl oz/200 ml) water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until it becomes a thick syrup. Remove the leaves, add the lemon juice, and mix well.

Serve slices of the dessert warm with the lemon syrup.


1 1⁄2 cups (5 oz/150 g) dry bread crumbs
1 1⁄4 cups (10 fl oz/ 300 ml) soy cream
2 1⁄2 cups (20 fl oz/ 600 ml) soy milk
2⁄3 cup (4 oz/120 g) fine or coarse semolina
1⁄2 cup (3 1⁄2 oz/100 g) superfine (caster) sugar
1 tablespoon orange flower
water edible petals, to serve for the syrup
1 cup (7 oz/200 g) superfine (caster) sugar
2 lemon leaves
juice of 2 lemons


James Beard Foundation. James Beard Award Winner

The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook wins a James Beard Award in the “Vegetable Cooking” category.

Vegetarian Living. June issue 71

‘Rather than serving up a formal three-course meal, why not try Salma Hage’s make-ahead authentic Middle Eastern mezze feast that everyone can dip into?’

Qatar airways. Five minutes with Salma Hage

“It wasn’t a matter of being the right time, more something that came naturally to me.”

The Sunday Times. Travel Special

‘Following the worldwide success of her debut cookbook, accidental author Salma Hage returns with a vegetarian take on the exciting flavours of the Middle East.’

About Time Magazine. Perfectly in tune with current trends of consciously reducing meat consumption…

‘A vibrant and approachable collection of more than 140 Middle Eastern vegetarian recipes.’

The Independent on Sunday. Middle Eastern food will remain an influence.

‘The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook by grand-dame Salma Hage, author of the bestseller The Lebanese Kitchen, is out in April.’


‘In the introduction to her latest release, The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook, Salma Hage recalls the communal nature of preparing food in the Lebanese village in which she grew up—stringing together beans to dry, pickling turnips, and making batches of her grandmother’s beloved tomato paste. Hage is not vegetarian, but when her son Joe axed […]

THE NATIONAL. Lebanese granny Salma Hage puts Middle Eastern vegetarian fare on the map.

“They push me to try new things every week and that keeps me interested,” she says. “They’ve become passionate vegetarians, so I’ve started to revisit the recipes I used to cook as a child.”