My PicNic Basket…. Let’s travel to Lebanon with a Zucchini Mouttabal

18 Jul

What’s in my PicNic basket today????

Today, there is a great Cooking Book written by Andrée Maalouf called

Cuisine libanaise d’hier et d’aujourd’hui  

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You will tell me…. “That’s it?”

Of course my answer is “Not at all” but it’s thanks to that book that I have been thinking about that PicNic Basket made of Middle Eastern and especially Lebanese dishes!

Today, I wanted to invite you to sit in the shade of a Cedar with my three Lebanese friends Rhea, Maria and Lara. Just take the time to imagine…. It’s hot outside but cool under the tree, a wide blanket has been spread in order to welcome as many guests as possible. The baskets are gathered all in the same place, just behind my friends who slowly start to deliver the treasures they brought. Suddenly, it’s not even a simple lunch but a feast that takes place in front of you…. The smell of the spices, the colour of the food, the beautiful dishes…. you can’t imagine that it can be touched!

Fortunately, your hosts will take care of you and gather artistically some of the specialties they brought. They will tell you about the names, spices, traditions to which belong each of them.

Now you can relax and enjoy….

  • Some Zucchini Moutabbal and Hoummous served with Lebanese Bread
  • A Bulgur Tabouleh with Grilled Vegetables
  • Dates and Pine Nuts Financiers


Zucchini Moutabal

Ingredients: for 8 persons

  • 6 medium courgettes skin on
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp of tahine (sesame seed cream)
  • 1/2 tsp of 7 spices
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Method :

  • Preheat your oven to 200°.
  • Wash the courgettes, trim the ends and cut the into 2 lenghtwise. Place them skin off on a baking tray covered with silicon sheet or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Bake them 20 to 30 minutes until the courgettes are cooked and tender.
  • Peel the garlic and finely dice or crush it.
  • In a large bowl, crush the courgettes then add the garlic, lemon juice an zest, tehine, 7 spices and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  • If you have a blender, you can also use it but don’t over blend the Moutabal as it’s better when you can feel the texture.
  • In a hot pan or on a baking tray, spread the pine nuts and gently toast them.
  • Incorporate 4/5 of them in the mix and spread the last 1/5 on top just before serving.
  • Serve with Lebanese bread.

Version Française: Le Moutabbal de Courgettes

Ingrédients : pour 8 personnes

  • 6 courgettes
  • 1 jus de citron et son zest finement râpé
  • 1 gousse d’ail
  • 2 cas de téhiné (crème de sésame)
  • 30g de pignons de pin
  • ½ cac de 7 épices
  • Sel

Méthode :

Préchauffez votre four à 200°

Lavez les courgettes et retirez le pédoncule. Coupez-les en 2 dans le sens de la longueur et posez-les sur une plaque, chaire apparente vers le haut.

Cuire 20 à 30 minutes jusqu’à ce que la chaire soit cuite et tendre.

Pelez l’ail et émincez le très finement ou pilez le dans un mortier.

Dans un grand bol écrasez les courgettes, ajoutez l’ail, le jus de citron et son zest finement râpé, la téhiné, les 7 épices et assaisonnez selon votre goût. Si vous utilisez un blender, procédez par à-coup afin de garder un peu de texture.

Torréfiez à sec les pignons de pin dans une poêle ou au four. Intégrez les à la préparation.

Servez avec du pain libanais ou des mezzes.

One Response to “My PicNic Basket…. Let’s travel to Lebanon with a Zucchini Mouttabal”

  1. Rhéa Hokayem July 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Oh yes, i see myself under the tree right there tasting you delicious zucchini moutabal!! yallllaaa j’essaye🙂
    great post! bisous Rhea

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