May We Recommend: Homemade Lemonade | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

May We Recommend: Homemade Lemonade

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Raisie Saad regularly reaches for lemons in her kitchen. As the owner and founder of Cedar Star Catering in Brooklyn, a food company that specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine, Saad feels that lemons are essential.

“Lemons,” says Saad, “highlight whatever you are cooking.”

You will find lemons in her lentil soup, in her ground meat patties, known as kibbe, in her salad dressings, and sauces.

Saad’s mother, who grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, even had lemons for snack after school. Her mother, Saad’s grandmother, would combine thin slices of lemon and cucumber, topped with fresh mint leaves and served in a pita – a world apart from the classic American peanut butter and jelly sandwich that many American children came to expect.

One lemon infused treat on which both Americans and Lebanese can agree is lemonade, but Raisie’s lemonade has a secret ingredient – orange blossom water, a fragrant water distilled from the macerated blossoms of oranges. This lightly scented flavoring is widely used in Lebanese sweets, like baklawa.

For Yom Kippur, break your fast like Saad and her family do, with this lemon-infused drink that is at once refreshing and soothing and combines Saad’s Lebanese and American roots in a glass.

Lebanese Lemonade

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