A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

rabbit food

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 13, 2007

For lunch yesterday I had one of my favorite mezzehs: hindbeh. Hindbeh is the Arabic version of what Greeks call rathikia: dandelion leaves, sauteed and drenched in olive oil.


Of course, when I told G about it, I described the dish as made from spinach leaves.

Its not spinach, G said.

Well then, I huffed, what is it?

Its hindbeh, G replied.

Oh no, I said, blissfully ignorant of my own, well, … ignorance. Hindbeh is the name of the dish, not the vegetable.

As you wish, G said patiently, before escaping our going-nowhere dish discussion for an Oracle database management course.

I was wrong, of course – and embarrassingly so. Hindbeh is the name of the vegetable – dandelion leaves, just as rathikia is Greek word for dandelion. The dish is creatively titled “hindbeh bil-zeit” – hindbeh in oil. And it is good.

Here is a recipe for Lebanese hindbeh, which I have taken from Tripoli-Lebanon.com, in hopes that city will soon see brighter days.

INGREDIENTS:1 kg (32 oz) dandelion
½ cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves crushed with a sprinkle of salt
5 onions (½ kg /16 oz) sliced into thin rings
½ tbls salt (as desired)
a dash of bicarbonate of soda

Remove yellow leaves from dandelion. Wash well. Finely chop.
Bring water to a boil then add bicarbonate of soda and dandelion and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse in cold water, then squeeze until dry.
Fry onion until golden. Remove ½ quantity of onions from oil, reserve aside. Fry chopped leaves in the same oil with onions for 15 minutes. Add garlic, coriander and salt and fry for 5 minutes.
Place in a serving plate and garnish with the reserved onions. Serve cold with some lemon juice.


2 Responses to “rabbit food”

  1. marzapane said

    mmm, sounds yummy! Maybe I will try it with arugola if I can’t find dandelion leaves (without having to harvest them from the park that is). What do you think the bicarbonate is for?

  2. hmm. I don’t know, but I’m wondering whether it does something to either soften the leaves or remove some bitterness. All I can think to compare it with is salting eggplant slices before cooking …??

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