الزيتون – Olive oil has an important significance in the region. Olive trees are rain fed and olives are usually hand-picked after the first rainfall of the season. It is extracted on law temperatures and is unrefined, this is what gives it its greenish deep color and pungent taste. Although people usually recommend to save the extra virgin olive oil to dressings and dips and cook with the normal olive oil, I strongly recommend against it, simply because it just wouldn’t taste the same. Extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point, so it burns on lower temperature, but is still brilliant to cook with just don’t heat it like you do with other types of vegetable oil.
Many of the vegan recipes in the middle eastern kitchen are cooked with olive oil, such as foul bi zait (broad beans with olive oil), Sholbatou (burghul with eggplants), yalanji and many others. It is also used as a dip with Za’atar and Labneh.