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An interview with  Chef Rawia Bishara of Tanooreen, Brooklyn, NYC and author of  Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking


Food lovers have been visiting the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn for more than 15 years now--long before Brooklyn became the food Mecca it is today-- seeking out the smoky eggplant, richly spiced lamb kibbie and homemade flatbreads  at Tanoreen, the neighborhood’s much loved Middle Eastern and recently Michelin-rated  restaurant.

Now, Rawia Bishara, chef and co-owner, has collected her favorite recipes into a cookbook, Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking. In addition to being a personal scrapbook of sorts, with glimpses of another lifestyle at  another time, and memories of her Palestinian upbringing in the town of Nazareth in Galilee, the book is filled with more than 100 recipes reflect traditional preparations that Bishara learned cooking with her family in Nazareth, as well as contemporary takes and influences from other cultures like chicken tagine, a typically Moroccan dish, and salmon in pesto which Rawia incorporated into her cooking when she arrived in the U.S.


Click here for the recipe of  Eggplant Napoleon, one of Rawia's signature dishes at Tanoreen.