top ten of 2017

easy vegetarian meze

Of the ninety-five recipes and menus I've posted in 2017 (my first year blogging!) these are the tried-and-true favorites, my most popular blog posts of the year:

10. zesty lemon hummus

This is hummus just the way my family makes it, with lots of lemon, a little garlic, and a nice amount of tahini. Plus I've got directions for my family's signature plating style, and lots of topping suggestions.

9. pistachio orange blossom banana bread

Inspired by the flavors of pistachio orange blossom lokum (Turkish delight), this banana bread is a fragrant variation on my tried and true recipe.

8. sumac thyme cake

This cake is inspired by my two favorite za'atar ingredients, dried thyme and sumac. But don't be fooled—this cake doesn't taste anything like za'atar. It's kind of like seeing your favorite film duo acting together in two completely different movies. Same chermistry, different genre.

7. lawash

I had so much fun learning how to make lawash from my aunt Masy (MAH-see). She taught me her really clever method for making do with an indoor oven instead of a tandoor. Counterintuitively, she has you use the exact opposite of a pizza stone.

6. amba

My amba is made with sour green mangoes, apple cider vinegar, and lots of fenugreek, just like the one my grandmother always has in the door of her fridge. It's the perfect thing to add a little extra zest to a meal.

5. vegan stuffed grape leaves

This recipe is complete with a guide to foraging for your own grape leaves in the wild. Vegan stuffed grape leaves are traditionally eaten during Assyrian fasts, but I prefer them all year round.

4. lahm bi ajeen

My cousin Kristopher taught me how to make perfect lahm bi ajeen, with plenty of banana peppers and pomegranate molasses. He shared his coveted dough recipe, as well as his technique for making sure the meat doesn't seize up into the center of the pies.

3. falafel

Everyone knows that the best falafel is made with soaked, raw chickpeas (anything else and you're making deep-fried tahiniless hummus balls!). But in this post, I share a really important key to making sure they turn out perfectly fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

2. a vegetarian meze dinner party

This vegetarian meze dinner party menu takes about 4 days of cooking for just 35 minutes each day. It's perfect if you're busy working, but want to have friends over for a nice, elaborate feast. It can be easily veganized and made without gluten.

1. stuffed dates

Healthy, easy, and almost too pretty to eat. You don't even need a kitchen to whip these up! They're perfect for everything from party appetizers to airplane snacks. Also check out my new post on stuffed dates, featuring flavors inspired by classic desserts.

a few honorable mentions

I couldn't help but include a few of my own favorites, which didn't quite crack the top ten this year, but which found their way onto my table time and time again.

tomatillo tabbouleh verde

tomatillo tabbouleh verde

watermelon Jerusalem salad

watermelon Jerusalem salad

potato chop

potato chop

masgouf (grilled fish) with slow roast tomatoes

masgouf (grilled fish) with slow roast tomatoes

cornbread with labneh and slow roast tomatoes

cornbread with labneh and slow roast tomatoes

booshala | swiss chard and yogurt soup

booshala | swiss chard and yogurt soup

kadeh | double butter bread

kadeh | double butter bread

cardamom baklawa

cardamom baklawa

cardamom rose gingersnaps

cardamom rose gingersnaps

chocolate cake with hibiscus curd

chocolate cake with hibiscus curd

persimmon upside-down cake

persimmon upside-down cake

strawberry sour plum pie (strawberry jarareng pie)

strawberry sour plum pie (strawberry jarareng pie)