Imshubishlee vs Sleeq

That sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, imshubishlee was on the menu last week, but I decided to make sleeq instead and so I’m going to give you both recipes.  They are both delicious, but sleeq is more filling, which is why I decided to make it. I thought this was interesting: if you google the word “imshubishlee,” my blog is the only thing that shows up. When I spell it “imshubishli,” I get “did you mean ‘mitsubishi’?” Ha ha ha ha ha!

You might think it’s strange that I expected something to show up, but this is the World Wide Web, after all. And lots of people eat imshubishlee, all the time.  Maybe it would show up if I could type in Arabic script on this computer. Anyway. Recipes are as follows:


  • 6 heads curly endive
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp.)

You may not need all the dressing, it depends on how big the endive is. Wash the endive REALLY well, it’s curly, which makes it perfect for catching and holding dirt. Once it’s clean, cut off the base of each head, and drop the leaves into boiling water. Boil for awhile. Not really sure how long. You want it to be tender! When it seems tender (try chewing a piece), drain the endive and then, when it’s cool enough to handle, SQUEEZE out ALL the water. Squeeze really well, squeeze a lot! Squeeze some more (remember how to pound garlic in a mortar and pestle?).  Make sure you keep squeezing as much as possible, you really don’t want ANY excess water left in the endive. OK, you get the point.

Next, chop the endive up into pieces. Pound the garlic into a paste with some salt, add the lemon and oil. Toss the endive with the lemon and oil dressing.

By the way, this is another time you want to create a paste out of the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle. Refer to my post “Yesterday’s Lunch – also, one of the reasons Syrian food is so good.” for detailed instructions about the garlic paste. Side note: If you happen to be using a brass mortar and pestle, like me, take the garlic and salt out of the mortar (or is it the pestle?) and put it into something else (that isn’t brass), before mixing in the oil and lemon. If you don’t, the garlic will turn blue. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and won’t taste bad or be bad for you, but it might freak you out a little bit. Just saying.

So that’s imshubishlee, that’s it. It’s really simple and tasty, but you probably want to make it part of a meal.  Maybe with some rice, hummous, olives and Syrian bread (pita).



  • 6 heads curly endive
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup fennel fronds, chopped
  • 1 can black eyed peas
  • 1 loaf  Syrian bread (pita)
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp.)

You start the same as with imshubishlee. Boil the endive and squeeze out ALL the water, just like before. Go all the way to the part where you chop it up into little pieces.  Heat 1/4 c. of the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and celery, sprinkle with salt and saute until tender. Add the squeezed and chopped endive, and the fennel fronds and keep tossing it around. Taste and add more salt, also, add oil as needed. Don’t let things get too dry.  Add the black eyed peas and Syrian bread (either toast it first in the oven, or fry it in oil. Either way, you want it crisp. I think toasting it is easier!). Break the bread into pieces as you add it to the skillet. Sprinkle on some lemon juice, you don’t want it SUPER lemony, but the lemon brightens it up. That’s it and here’s a picture (I don’t think it looks good, but it really is delicious!):



About LeilaPiazza

I am a wife and mother. I am an Orthodox Christian. I am a Syrian American with family living in Syria. I am a also a yoga teacher and freelance writer. I recently described myself in a job pitch as "a person who's lived in Portland, Oregon for over 20 years with a passion for writing and a passion for all things Portland. I'm a foodie, knitter, wine and beer lover, bee-keeper (yep, I said it), mead and fruit-liqueur maker, organic gardener, home-canner, hiker, biker, runner, and occasional skinny-dipper. I’ve camped all over the state, I sail a sailboat that’s moored on the Columbia (o.k., I'm the first mate), and I spend a large percentage of my time at our beach house in Seaside." That about sums it up.
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4 Responses to Imshubishlee vs Sleeq

  1. goblinbox says:

    Could I perhaps chop the endive before boiling it?

    • Leila says:

      I suggest you don’t – it will make the sqeezing part harder. Basically, it’s hard to fry the endive in oil if there is ANY remaining moisture, and if the endive is in little bits, it’s hard to squueze it tight. However, I could be wrong, I’ve never actually tried it – so if you do, let me know how it works! Thanks for the input – Love ya Mush! P.S. I think you will really like this dish!

  2. Never hear of it and not sure if I can pronounce it, but it sure looks good.

    “Good oil, like good wine, is a gift from the gods. The grape and the olive are among the priceless benefactions of the soil, and were destined, each in its way, to promote the welfare of man.”

    –George Ellwanger

    • Leila says:

      Well, imshubishlee is quite phonetic, with all vowels short except for the last two “ee”s at the end. But it’s still kind of a tongue twister, huh?! Sleeq has the long “e” and the “q” is silent in Syrian dialect, just kind of a glottal stop. If you try it out, let me know how you like it. It’s funny how some foods don’t look pretty and come from really humble ingredients, but taste amazing. I agree wholeheartedly with your quote!

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