There’s a wonderful Lebanese restaurant called Jamjar on the other side of our neighbourhood. We joke that it’s a good thing it’s far enough away that we can’t run down there on the spur of the moment. If it were closer, we’d eat at home less often than is good for us.
My last meal there wasn’t in the restaurant at all, but at a working meeting. The chairperson picked up an array of their dips, salads, small plates, and sauces for us to munch on as we sifted through our list of tasks. There’s nothing bland about any of their food – there’s almost a cacophony of flavours, which manage to complement rather than compete. Eating through a spread of their dishes excites the palate with each bite. It certainly kept us all lively and cheerful through what could have been a tedious evening.
The artichoke tapenade I enjoyed this evening wouldn’t have been out of place on that table. It’s French, rather than Lebanese, but its flavours have a Mediterranean bent. Artichokes, olives, and capers provide earthy notes, lemon and cayenne brighter ones, while homemade rosemary oil finishes the dip.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, dips like this one are perfect for my favourite way to eat through the summer – from a table full of small bowls and plates filled with different textures and flavours, all working together to create a satisfying and harmonious meal.