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Friday, January 14, 2011
Recipe of the Week: Ful for Love
This weeks recipe was one I was really excited about. I read this book called "The Language of Baklava" by Diana Abu-Jaber last summer. It is a great memoir of growing up in an Arab-American family told through food stories, recipes and family anecdotes. Many of the recipes are easily adaptable for a gluten-free diet so I copied them down onto my recipe cards and stored them away. I have been making Diana's hummus since last summer and I absolutely love it!

After reading "The Language of Baklava", I wanted to let the author know how much I enjoyed the book and the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern-inspired recipes so I sent her an email. I love when I get responsess from authors! It makes you feel that they appreciate you as much as you enjoyed their book. Here is what Ms. Abu-Jaber had to say:
Dear Erin,
Thank you so much for your kind words-- I'm so pleased that you were able to find gluten-free/adaptable foods. I really feel like the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest (and yummiest) around...but I may be biased! Oh, I predict you will love Ful, and if you make the muhamara recipe, be warned-- people will try to lick out the bowl.
Enjoy! And many thanks again for taking out the time to write.
I decided recipe #2 for my 2011 recipe resolution would be "Ful for Love" by Diana Abu-Jaber. I must preface this recipe by saying that I am not a huge fan of large beans. I don't like the texture of anything bigger than a black bean unless it is smushed or in a stew/chili. I never had fava beans before so I was a bit put off right from the beginning. Nevertheless, I gave it a try...

Ful For Love from The Language of Baklava, page 323


1 small can of fava beans, drained
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
juice of one lemon
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  1. In a saucepan, combine fava beans, garlic, onion, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper. 
  2. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes then remove from heat
  3. Add lemon juice and remaining oil. Mash into beans with fork.
  4. Garnish with onion and parsley.
*Ful is nice topped with chopped tomato.

My Modifications
  • I did not have fresh garlic, so I used minced garlic from a jar. 
  • I used a potato masher to really mash up the fava beans to avoid that bean texture.
  • I ate this with gluten-free rice crackers, no parsley or tomato garnish. 
I didn't love this recipe, but mostly because of the fava beans. I couldn't really get past the smell or the taste of the beans. I think I might try garbanzo beans next time. Any suggestions?
I still highly suggest "The Language of Baklava" by Diana Abu-Jaber for anyone that enjoys food and family memoirs. 

2011 Recipe Resolution #2 is now finished. 

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