I’m finally done traveling for the summer, and I brought an awesome souvenir back with me. It came from a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, where I had a great dinner with family while I was passing through town. The Olive Tree has been a popular eatery since it was opened in 2009 in the Columbus suburb of Hilliard by Israeli native and self-taught chef David Mor. The menu features dishes from many Mediterranean countries, including Israel, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Libya and Spain.
Everything I’ve ever tried there has been wonderful, and this visit was no exception. I ordered the mujaddara, which is a lentil and rice dish from the Middle East that, according to Gil Marks in "The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food," is also sometimes known as mujadara, majadarah, mejadara, mengedarrah, mujeddra (in different parts of the eastern Mediterranean), megadarra (in Egypt), mejedra (in Greece), khichri (in India) and enjadar (in Yemen). He says it originated in Persia or India but has since become "the most widespread and beloved rice and legume dish in the Muslim world."