Lamb Stew at Zahav, you are quite the hearty dish!
I’m great for a pick-me-up during the cold winter months. And even if you’re not Lebanese—or Middle Eastern at all—I think I could become a new comfort food for you.
So, you’re from Lebanon? Tell me more about your recipe.
I’m a traditional Lebanese-style stew made with spices like cumin and coriander that offset the sweetness of my caramelized onions, baby turnips and carrots.
How does Sous Chef Yehuda Sichel prepare the soup?
My lamb is braised and then picked from the bone. Chef Sichel makes a base from the braising liquid and then adds more caramelized onions before poaching the baby turnips and carrots in the broth. Finally, Sichel adds Lebanese couscous.
Couscous! The food so nice they named it twice.
Yes, and Lebanese couscous is simply heartier and handmade.
Are there any finishing touches?
Of course! I’m finished with fresh mint and onions dressed with a bit of dried sumac and white wine vinegar. This freshens up my spicy, hearty flavor.
What kind of wine compliments such a bold flavor?
Not many. But our Spanish Grenache— a medium-bodied wine with low acidity—handles my richness nicely.
As a comfort food, do you prefer to stand on your own? Or do you get along well with anyone else on the menu?
You said it yourself, I am quite the dish. But Persimmon Salad is a refreshing start or finish. Fried Cauliflower, another favorite at Zahav, gets along with everyone.
Was that a jab at Fried Cauli?
Well, don’t put words in my spoon: I’m no alphabet soup. I think we all know that Cauliflower will always be a side dish—no matter how tasty. He’s lucky to have flavor like me to back him up.
Zahav, 237 St. James Place. 215.625.8800. zahavrestaurant.com
Wine with Mexican Food? Sí!