Favorite Lebanese Recipes for Fall: preserves and dried mint

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While they call the recent full moon the “harvest moon” for a reason—the harvest is full-on, right—I get the distinct sense that the canning and preserving is far from full-on. It’s more like pulling the last of whatever we can into the sugar, the freezer, the vinegar brine. I know that for me, once I accept that it’s fall, I start heading in another direction that has a lot less to do with that desperate save-summer-now feeling that rules in September.

Lebanese recipes for preserves (mouneh) do great things with the last of the season, especially those hangers-on, the herbs. Dried mint is such an important way to ramp up flavor in our recipes that it makes me want to dry the last of all of the other herbs in my garden too (the parsley, the sage, the basil). You can dry so much at home that it makes the little expensive jars we buy seem totally silly. Unless or until you have none and need to get some dried herbs fast; then they’re a God-send at any price the local grocery wants to ask.

Here’s a look at what I’m putting in jars these first weeks of fall. How about you?

Lebanese Recipes for Fall Preserves

Dried Mint
I will forage mint from any and everywhere to make massive quantities of dried mint right now.

Apple Butter
Slow, deep, with cinnamon.

Fig Jam with Anise
I use dried figs—which means this is less a fall-specific recipe but one I love this time of year nonetheless. Fresh figs work too.

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  1. Diane Nassir (my maternal grandmother was an Abood (Jamileh) from Ammun Leb. says:

    And Happy Fall to you Maureen!

  2. Diane Nassir (my maternal grandmother was an Abood (Jamileh) from Ammun Leb. says:

    Oh yes, and I can smell the aroma now–and, that is my Mother’s fig jam complete with Anise!!–made from our own two purple fig trees in our backyard–memories memories memories-thank you Maureen!