Sunday, March 9, 2008

Loubie Bzeit

One of our favorite local restaurants is Aladdin's, a little Lebanese/Middle Eastern eatery that serves traditional dishes (both vegetarian and not) made with the freshest ingredients. Each time we visit, we like to order something that we haven't tried before but there are some items on the menu that we keep coming back to because they are just so good. Their falafel is the best I've ever had, crispy and fried outside and soft and savory inside. Dipped in Aladdin's own tahini, they are heavenly. The tabbouleh tastes like summer - green and juicy with fresh herbs and lemon. I crave it in the gray doldrums of winter.

Mike talked me into ordering the loubie bzeit. I kept looking past it on the menu because it sounded boring. Green beans, big deal. But he seemed interested and I thought, "Oh, okay. I'll try it. It's a vegetable dish. I'll eat it, get it over with and move on to the meat." (Because let's face it - meat is the main event. Side dishes supply vitamins and fiber and sure, you really do need them, but they really are just meat accessories.)

I was wrong about the green beans. As we like to say in this house, all of Mike's ideas are good ideas - and ordering the green beans was no exception. They are soft, saucy and very garlicky. Served with fresh pita and some of MattG's hummus, it makes for a delicious, nutritious (meatless!) meal.

Loubie Bzeit
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup olive oil (don't worry - GOOD FATS)
2 tablespoons (-ish. I always add more.) minced garlic
2 pounds Italian cut green beans (the wide flat variety), frozen
2 cans (14-ounce size) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons (again, add as much as you like) dried sweet basil
6 large cloves garlic, crushed lightly

In a large skillet, heat up your olive oil and add the onions and minced garlic. Saute until the onions become translucent and just begin to brown at the edges. Add the green beans. (it doesn't matter if they're still frozen, go ahead and throw them in). Saute a little bit more, until the beans start to cook and then add the rest of your ingredients. Stir well, cover and let simmer for, oh...maybe 20 minutes? Stir occasionally checking to see if the garlic cloves have softened. Once they have, taste to see if the seasonings are right - add a little more salt if needed. Enjoy! (tastes even better the next day!)

(comfort food.)


Lydia said...

please send the hummus

phlegmfatale said...

wow - that sounds delicious! There's a great Lebanese place in Dallas called Food From Galilee. I love the salad with the crispy things in it. Delicious.

Less said...

mmmmm.... Lubyi Zayat.


The only problem is that it's not cabbage...

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said...

Is that the actual recipe that is served at Aladdin's Eatery?

I'm gonna try this recipe tonight.

You should check out Eggplant and Tomato Confit.

It turned out to be one of the tasty plates that I have ever cooked! It tastes even better on the second day as well!

Dalt said...

Excellent recipe, I must say. I added about 1 tsp. of oregano and simmered it for about 40 mins. on low heat.

I go to Aladdin's Eatery here in Cleveland and it tastes just like it. =)