Spicy Lebanese Salad by M. Kuehn

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What can be easier than knocking up a salad? Actually a ton of things can go wrong if you’re careless or sloppy.

Although we’ve come a long way from the ‘all you can eat’ salad bars in chain restaurants offering limp lettuce, bland tomatoes, tinned sweet corn, tasteless cucumber and a chemical mix called thousand island dressing, we could learn a lot from the Middle East, never mind our Mediterranean friends whose culture and climate produce the very best salad ingredients.

Then there’s the dressing. ratio of vinegar to oil. The type of oil. Additional ingredients etc. I am always grateful when I can put my own oil and balsamic onto my salad in restaurants as  too often the dressing is a let down.

So here’s a slightly different but rather tasty Lebanese dressing that really lifts a salad.

TIP Use organic lemons if you can.

Serves 4

1 romaine lettuce,
4 tomatoes
1 red onion
2 small Lebanese cucumbers, seeds scraped out.
8 radishes
1/2 a red pepper
juice of a lemon
8tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 flat tsp of dried mint
pinch of mild chili powder
a little sea salt

Make the dressing. Squeeze the juice into a bowl and add the salt to dissolve.

Whisk in the oil and add the mint. Slice your salad ingredients into bite size pieces and arrange on a serving platter.

At the very last minute pour on the dressing. Sprinkle with a tiny amount of chili powder. I promise you it works but if you don’t like heat just omit the chili.

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