Updated: May 31
One cookbook that I am crushing on right now is "Zaitoun", by Yasmin Kahn. It is filled with gorgeous Middle Eastern recipes rich in traditions from Palestine, Jerusalem, West Bank, etc. This salad is a typical combination of vegetables, lemon juice, and olive oil like you might find sitting at café table in Palestine. It is clean, acidic, and fresh- perfect with creamy, fried, or rich foods. I love it. Meet your new summer regular.
"Za'atar is a basic Middle Eastern spice blend that you can find at Middle Eastern markets or online. It is so good on almost everything."
Notes: Parsley may stand-in for the cilantro.
MIDDLE EASTERN SALAD
Ingredients: 1 hot house or English cucumber, 2 cups sliced grape tomatoes, 4 green onions, 1 can chick peas-drained, 1 handful chopped fresh cilantro, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, juice of one lemon, 1/2 tsp za'atar, 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper to taste
1. Slice the cucumber vertically and gently run a spoon down the center to remove the seeds. Chop into 1 inch pieces. Slice the green onion, use white and green parts.
2. Combine cucumber, tomatoes, chick peas, green onion and cilantro in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, za'atar, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss.
4. Let salad rest for 30 minutes before serving.
Tip: For extra crunch, warm some pine nuts in a dry pan for 5 minutes, then scatter on top when serving.