Before chef Reem Assil opened Reem’s, an Oakland all-day café inspired by Arab street corner bakeries, she worked for years as a community organizer. To Reem, food is an opportunity to build community across cultures and generations, and her recipes directly reflect this. She’s the child of Palestinian and Syrian immigrants who met in Lebanon, and she draws inspiration from her family, as well as all the fresh, beautiful produce in California.


Serves 6
  • 1lb chopped tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • dill seeds and fresh dill, to taste
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • juice of one lemon, more as needed
Cookware Used
Stir Crazy
3-Piece Nested Mixing Bowl Set
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The Whole Grain Family
3-Piece Wooden Utensil Set
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I like to eat with color. That's one thing I remember about my grandmother's tables — colors everywhere. It's what I do at Reem's. I really feel like people eat with their eyes, and this tomato salsa brightens everything up, especially rice.

  1. In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic and salt until a paste forms.
  2. Add dill seeds and serranos and pound until coarsely ground.
  3. In a medium bowl, add mixture to tomatoes, then add olive oil and lemon juice and adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Garnish with chopped dill.

Photos by Noah Fecks.