This week I’ve been to ´De Markthal´ (the Market Hall) in Rotterdam together with my husband and stepdaughters. The Dutch among us will probably have heard or read about this place, or even have been there already. This market hall has become an absolute eye-catcher. Its architecture is unique (the building is built in the shape of a horseshoe with an inside rooftop that has all kinds of colored shapes) and it combines eating, drinking, shopping and even living all in one. Visitors can find about a hundred stands with fresh products, a supermarket and fifteen shops. Whether you’re looking for fresh bread, cheese, vegetables, meat or fish, this is the place to be to find all kinds of daily fresh food. It’s also completely indoor and actually more than just a market. It’s also an excellent day out because it has fine food restaurants and cafes too where you can enjoy a good meal or a drink. In other words this is the valhalla for people like myself who are looking for fresh, foreign and exotic products. For all the people who may have plans to visit Holland sometime and who are keen to discover all kinds of food products they’ve never seen or even tasted, you should really plan a visit to this market hall because it’s really a must see!
After we did some shopping overthere, we went to dinner in the evening at a Lebanese restaurant called Le Souq. This cozy little restaurant, tucked away in the historic Delfshaven (an old district of Rotterdam) offers everything that lovers of the cuisine of the Middle East could wish for. All products are fresh and prepared with love and the service is very friendly.
After gorging ourselves with all the mezes (small dishes) that are on the restaurant’s menu, it was time for dessert (of course). Lebanese baklava (Nammoura), that’s what I was craving. Since I’ve prepared baklava myself last week, I also had the opportunity to compare my baklava to the one of the restaurant, so that came in handy too. How did it taste? Well, what can I say more: this baklava tasted delicious! Crispy fried and not too sweet, at least not soaked with syrup like I’m used to and like I’ve eaten in many places as such. Like in more dishes from the Middle East this baklava also contains orange blossom water. Orange blossom water has a specific taste but in this case it’s completely integrated in the whole picture and brings about consistency with the other ingredients. All in all we have had a fantastic dinner and we will definitely pay a visit again to this restaurant.
The thought of the Lebanese baklava kept following me during the next few days and this has inspired me to prepare a variation on this, one in the shape of a cookie. Just as a treat for our evening cup of tea. Now I can hear what you’re thinking: eating baklava in the evening? Just as an ordinary cookie? Oops, this is bad, very bad for the waistline! Yes indeed, we eat it as an ordinary evening cookie. And bad for the waistline? Well, it’s not that bad. I completely left out the sugar. I also omitted the syrup, but to make it slightly sweet, I invigorated it with a small amount of honey (about 3 grams per cookie). I’ve also skipped the orange blossom water, simply because I didn’t have it in stock.
What remains is a non soaked, crispy cookie with chopped nuts and a hint of cinnamon. Quick and easy to prepare and above all super delicious! Just try it yourself and you will find out how delicicous.