Nigel Slater explores the Middle East, cooking and eating with the people of Lebanon, Turkey and Iran, as he discovers the secrets of the world’s oldest cuisines.
Nigel Slater embarks on a Middle Eastern food adventure to explore some of the oldest and grandest cuisines in the world. His first stop, Lebanon, exemplifies Levantine cuisine but is also influenced by its position on the Mediterranean. The flavours, colours and fragrances of the region have travelled the globe but Nigel sets out to eat and cook with the people who make the dishes every day – home cooks. Nigel also explores the landscapes and ingredients, which define the recipes and dishes that have been passed on through generations.
Nigel starts his journey in the capital, Beirut, at the end of Ramadan, where he is invited to celebrate Eid with a local family, before travelling south to Nabatieh near Israel and east to the Beqaa Valley close to the Syrian border.
On his journey, Nigel explores the resilience of the country and its people, their survival and preservation through decades of war, and sees how this is reflected in their pride in their culture, and most importantly, in their food.
Nigel Slater ‘s Middle East – Lebanon ep.1 dishes:
Za’atar chicken with chickpeas and garlic yoghurt
A quick and easy chicken supper using the Middle Eastern spice blend, za’atar and a sprinkling of sesame seeds on chicken thighs.
Lebanese rice pudding
The fragrances of Mount Sannine in Lebanon have inspired this richly aromatic dessert.
Fattoush with crisp olive flatbread
A vibrant and zesty Levantine salad with crispy, olivey bread.
Nigel Slater is an English food writer, journalist and broadcaster. He has written a column for The Observer Magazine for over a decade and is the principal writer for the Observer Food Monthly supplement. Prior to this, Slater was food writer for Marie Claire for five years.