I couldn’t read this prompt without getting Dan Bern’s “Jerusalem” stuck in my head.
All the ancient kings came to my door
They said “Do you want to be an ancient king too?”
I said “Oh yes very much
But I think my timing’s wrong”
They said “Time is relative
Or did you misread Einstein”
I said “Do you really mean it?”
They said “What do you think we come here for
Our goddamn health or something?”
So in tribute to those ten long days in Jerusalem, where he ate nothing but olives, I went for something inspired by that place. With a side of olives. (I don’t like olives).
First off, homemade pita bread. I’ve made this plenty of times. I like Breadtopia’s recipe and sometimes use the sourdough variation.
Next, a simple chopped salad, with all market-fresh veggies: tomato, cucumber, onion, pepper, parsley, mint.
Then, I thought I’d attempt to make vegan labneh, which, admittedly, isn’t something I’ve had in its nonvegan form, but it sounded tasty and a fun thing to try as an alternative to hummus. Do you think the ancient kings would be okay with almond milk yogurt?
I can’t speak to the taste – though I suspect it isn’t as funky as a homemade goat’s milk yogurt would turn out – but the texture is thick and dry, just as described in the recipes I read. It wasn’t too difficult. I mixed a cup of Kite Hill Greek unsweetened yogurt with a pinch of salt and a little lemon juice, wrapped it tightly in cheesecloth, then hung in a linen bag for several hours until all the liquid dripped out. Served with za’atar and olive oil, along with the pitas and the chopped salad…this is going to be an excellent lunch. For the ancient kings too, I guess.
(OK, I will probably make hummus, too. I made a LOT of pitas, you know?)