Thyme: Lebanese Street Sajeria

Ordered from Facebook

ON Saturday my cousin Elena messages from Vancouver to say they’re only allowed to buy a dozen eggs max there. Crikey, her Easter frittata will be tiny. Uh-oh, how many are we allowed here? I race to my nearest Sainsbury’s on Glasgow’s south side to find out. After queuing to get in I discover it doesn’t matter how many you’re allowed. They don’t have a single one. Just empty egg shelves.

It looks like for the first time in my life I won't be having any frittata at all on Easter Sunday. I think back to all those frittatas, stretching back generations: Mum’s, Nonna’s, 40-eggers, 50-eggers, us little kids helping to stir the big iron pan, pick the mint, plop in the ingredients, a tradition suddenly broken by a crisis and by my, hands up here, complacency.

But then I get up early the next day and go to Lidl. And it’s an Easter miracle: the eggs are piled up high and there’s no limit. Okay, it’s not a miracle. Just another example of how weird this whole lockdown food supply thing is.

But now anyway we’re eating thick slices of firm, delicious frittata for two whole days. Okay, there’s no salissiccia, no fillet of lamb, no kidney, but we have mountains of mint, cheeses galore, some prosciutto. It’s simple and good.

And on the third day? Time for something slightly different. A first for this column anyway: a meal ordered through Facebook. Only a week or two after swearing blind I wasn’t going to order anything from any internet restaurant that didn’t have any actual visible premises? Those dreaded ghost kitchens? I just go and bloody do it.

Umm, I kinda blame Facebook for this, historically and consistently the absolutely worst place to find a restaurant in my view because when you do…well, the layout’s just useless. How do you find the menu? Look through the photos? And all those likes? What do likes mean? One of your pals pressed a button. Then how do you order? Not Messenger. I hate Messenger. So creepy, however… in these times of strife it’s on Facebook rather than anywhere else that left-field suppliers seem to be popping up.

I do try and order from a couple of other places. Through email and websites where businesses claim to be crisis-delivering and then we sit and wait for replies that don’t come, that still haven’t come, while there’s a fair bit of grumbling and fidgetting and clock-glaring in the family background.

So I leap into the dark and Messenger order from somewhere called Thyme, that offers Lebanese street food, provides chatty messages back and forth, payment by bank transfer (which my bank absolutely does not like me doing), a simple menu, makes vague mention about stalls at food markets and offers something slightly different.

I scroll through their very short Facebook history. Wondering, gulp, what I have done? But it arrives. Once again I’m surprised by the thoughtful paper packaging, that the guy who delivered had slightly burst due to the size and weight of those extra large falafel wraps at £5.99 each. Standing safely on the lawn, he shouted: “They’re huge man”. And he was right.

The raw vegan pistachio brownies and the chips (you’ve got to) that come in greaseproof bags are somehow, after travelling from goodness-knows-where, still crisp and hot. They do falafel mainly. In bowls. In wraps. And hummus. A lot of chickpea action going on. Lebanese bread, too, at 50p a pop. And, er, that’s it. Apart from those desserts.

Delivery is a fiver, three quid to the west end of Glasgow, giving an idea of where they’re at. So we sit around the kitchen table, peeling back tight greaseproof paper wraps containing batons of hot and toasted to-a-flaky-crisp Lebanese bread that hugs freshly-made crispy falafel, vinegary pickles, flashes of mint, tomatoes, lettuce and all strung together with a great tahini sauce and a heavy dash of chilli.

Fresh street food. In the house. Hard to beat.

Thyme: Lebanese Street Sajeria

Ordered from Facebook

Menu: Simple it certainly is, falafels, and very large falafel wraps in toasted Lebanese bread with pickles and tahini and chilli. Oh, and vegan desserts and chips.

Price: Those huge falafel wraps were £5.99, a freshly-made hummus bowl £3 and Lebanese flatbread 50p. Delivery was a fiver, but will depend where you live.

Food: Hot, crisp, fresh and satisfyingly simple. No complaints.

Times have Changed……Anything Goes!” So wrote Cole Porter in 1934, when the world as they knew it was collapsing at their feet.

So, at home, locked down… stuck in, unable to find every single ingredient you need to try this anything goes salad.

As my great grandmother who raised her family in southern Italy in the 1930s, always said, ‘if you don’t have it…you don’t need it.’


Open your fridge…bring out the salad drawer and put together a mixture of ‘anything goes!’


Handful of each of any of the following:

Broad beans

Asparagus spears

Red peppers

Small red onion, thinly sliced

Little gem lettuce

Radicchio or chicory, bitter leaves

Fresh mint leaves

Flat leaf parsley

Greek black olives

Greek feta or any salty cheese


Pod the broad beans and remove the inner fluffy seed cover to reveal delicious fresh beans.

Asparagus spears need to be well washed as they can harbour grit in the fronds. Use a potato peeler to trim away the tough pointed leaves along the stems. Cut lengthways.

Red peppers can give some people indigestion if eaten raw. Use a potato peeler to remove the outside skin and remove inner seeds. Cut into thin slithers.

Slice a red onion very thinly and soak in a cup of cold water for 10 minutes or so to take away the sharp taste and crisp the texture of the onion.

Please, please buy whole heads of lettuce, chicory and radicchio instead of mixed bags of salad leaves. You can use the leaves from each head and mix and match as you fancy. Not only are the leaves much fresher, and tastier they are less likely to be contaminated with bugs that can breed in sealed bags. Fill a clean bowl with salted cold water and some ice cubes and add the cleaned lettuce leaves to refresh them.

Use fresh herbs like parsley, basil and mint to add bursts of flavour.

Add all the prepared leaves and vegetables in a large bowl.

Dress the salad and just before serving sprinkle with crumbled salty feta to make it very moreish and irresistible.


1 garlic clove, crushed

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Zest and juice half a lemon

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Sea salt and ground black pepper.


Put all the ingredients into a tight-fitting jar and shake it up and down until everything is emulsified into a tasty dressing.

Check seasoning and use as required.

If you like the salad dressing make four times as much next time and store it in the fridge for when you need it.