The foods of the Middle East all tell a unique story of the past. The recipes and cooking techniques passed down throughout tend to be similar, but taste very different according to region and country and also that particular history within each land. Spices tend to be the focal point for most of the Middle Eastern cooking that we are familiar with today, especially as visions of sacks of spices in the souks ( markets) abound our visions of the middle east. What we are less familiar with is the fresh side of the spice history and usage that spans across the lands of the Middle East and dates back even farther than the spice trade and use. Fresh herbs are a common thread of the Middle Eastern culinary journey and recipes native to each region contain very different spice mixtures but tend to have similar fresh herb uses. The spices used depended ( and still does) on what was traded in each region and what was offered in the market place. With herbs being perishable, they were not traded, but widely grown and sold in the local market places and still are. So as we see countless images of spice piles in most middle eastern markets, there are just as many if not more piles of the fresh herbs perfuming the air of the souks. Several of the countries highlight different herbs in their regional cuisines but for the most part the herb use centers around, mint, cilantro, dill and parsley with some use of thyme here and there. Nissa’s organic vegetable and fruit journeys have taken her all over the world but she has had the unique experience in raveling all throughout the Middle East and in this class she shares her own herbal passions in the form of fresh herbs highlighted in middle eastern cooking. Fresh off her latest venture in Tunisia, she will share some of the most vibrant and flavorful, traditional and modern recipes and middle eastern cooking ideas she has gathered in her journeys which often take her deep into the heart of the kitchens of farmers in the middle east. Her usual herbal tricks and tips will also abound the class as will her uniquely simple and tasty recipes!
Recipes:Frozen Herbal Lemonade with Arak, Herb Tossed Potato Salad with Fresh Mint Harissa and Yogurt, Yehmini Shug with Grilled Haliumi Cheese, Handmade Mint Pita and Fresh Z’hatar ( 3 ways), Arabic Salad, Fresh Dates ( Mejul and Deglect Nur) with Ricotta & Mint Infused Honey and Fresh Mint Tea with Pine Nuts
Class Type:Series, hands-on ” herbal” cooking class
Class Notes:Learn what vibrancy fresh herbs bring to Middle Eastern cuisine
Managing Director of Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, Nissa Pierson, was smitten with herbs upon her first sight of a sprawling basil field in California. She solicited for employment and got the job, laying the foundation for future herb takeover. She has been traveling the globe ever since with her organic business with much time spent in the Middle East, where she learned some special tips from the herb heavy cuisine that area capitulates. Besides being a passionate teacher of fresh herbs, organics and fair-trade, she enjoys spice (in her food and in her life), good conversation and debates, kickboxing, the ocean and surfing, and submerging herself in the food and culture of the world. Contact Nissa