The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Tabouleh-Stuffed Globe Zucchinis with Mint & Sumac Yogurt Sauce

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Two things I love about Middle Eastern cuisine are stuffed vegetables and fresh herb-filled salads like tabouleh. When I found some beautiful little globe zucchinis, I thought about combining these two loves into one — zucchinis stuffed with tabouleh. This way, I can have my bowl of tabouleh, and eat it too!

It made for a striking presentation, and was quite simple to prepare. I’m going to try this out sometime at a dinner party; it would be a great accompaniment to grilled meat or kebabs — easy for the host to assemble, and fun for the guests to eat. It might also be good to serve vegetarian guests or as part of a whole vegetarian spread.

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Wine-Braised Beef, Carrot, Daikon & Mushrooms

BraisedBeefTSTSpring’s dance has begun. She steps forward, beaming and bright; she retreats behind a sudden gust of cold air and mist. After a stretch of warm, sunny days, we have a chill in the air, another forecast of cold rain & snow. There’s still time before we put away the heavy blue dutch oven, still time to enjoy another comforting and hearty braise.

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Roasted Eggplant with Lemon & Garlic Tahini Sauce

TahiniEggplantI had been thinking about this lemon and garlic tahini sauce since I made it last week for the Roasted Butternut Squash dish from the Jerusalem cookbook, and was trying to conjure more applications for it. I decided to try it with eggplant and was so excited when the combination turned out so scrumptious, so meant to be, so… familiar, when — midway through scarfing it down — I realized what I had was actually a deconstructed Baba Ghanouj, with all the Baba Ghanouj flavors (eggplant, lemon, garlic, tahini) but just in a different form. I love the almost-meaty texture of eggplant, sliced thickly and roasted, so I think I like this even better than the pureed kind. In fact, if I were a vegetarian, this would most certainly be my steak. Happy Weekend!

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Tagliatelle with Sauteed Mushrooms, Pancetta & Herb Sauce

mushroomherbpastaA bowl of pasta can be so simple yet so satisfying. I love the assortment of mushrooms and herbs combined here with fresh tagliatelle pasta and some crisped pancetta. If you’re a pro at chopping veggies and herbs, it will take you less than 20 minutes from cutting board to table (or 30 minutes for slow choppers like me), so it’s a good option on frenetic weeknights or for a quick lunch. Enjoy!

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Creamy Fresh Spinach & Artichoke Dip

IMG_6991Football fans, I barely know who’s playing tomorrow, but I do know that this Spinach-Artichoke Dip is a Super Bowl of creamy goodness. It’s a lightened version, with fresh baby spinach and peppery arugula, marinated artichoke hearts, Greek yogurt, a dollop of creamy goat cheese, and an herbaceous bunch of parsley, chives and oregano. And it’s all done on the stovetop in a mere 15 minutes, so you won’t miss any plays. Serve warm with lightly toasted bread or pita chips. Happy Game Day!

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“Jerusalem” Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini & Za’atar

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This dish, like so many I’m finding in the lovely cookbook Jerusalem, is a celebration of colors and flavors. The recipe is straightforward, the combination is so innovative (Who knew a tahini and lemon sauce would go so incredibly well with butternut squash?) and the results are beautiful, delicious, wowing. Ottolenghi and Tamimi, you’ve got me hooked on your amazing food.

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Butternut Squash, Apple & Cranberry Stuffing

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Today I made one last Thanksgiving dish to share here that combines tart dried cranberries, mellow butternut squash, sweet apple, and a sage-parsley-thyme seasoning. It turned out so colorful, aromatic, and flavorful that I think this will be a new traditional dish for us. I’m not sure there will be any left for tomorrow’s festivities! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Continue reading


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Roasted Eggplant, Ricotta & Tomato Crostini

IMG_5958Since reading Eating on the Wild Side, I’ve been trying to fill my grocery basket with more nutrient-rich purple vegetables and to roast them to get the most nutrition out of them. Deep purple eggplant is rich in a number of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that fight disease and even help lower bad cholesterol. I love the almost-melted texture of roasted eggplant, and here its softness complements crunchy toasted bread, a pillowy layer of cheese, and a sprinkling of sliced tomatoes and parsley. Continue reading


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Where I Am Now; Tagliatelle with Homemade Garden Pesto

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Where I am now, I have a teeny, tiny, little garden I’ve tended all summer long. For me, this is a big accomplishment. For the first summer in seven years, I am not moving across continents and oceans, and I can actually set down roots, literally. Continue reading