All Thing Syrian-Inspired Salad
If I were to go to Syria for a month to visit my family I'm fully aware that I'm not going to have access to foods like kale, arugula, hemp seeds, papayas, blueberries, etc. Since everything is locally grown there and the country has had to be self-reliant for the past 11 years, they've had to use what is available around them to make their food. So say I am in my grandma's kitchen in Tartous, Syria and I'm in the mood to make myself a salad that isn't either tabbuleh or fattoush. So, I open the fridge and glance at all the produce she has. What could I possibly make? Syria is home to delicious olives of all kinds, tahini, and pine nuts. So, I used those three ingredients to make a nourishing and filling salad. You're going to love this one. Let's get to it.
This recipe is dairy free and gluten free.
1. 2-3 handfuls of spinach
2. Grilled/baked/boiled chicken breast (up to you, just have one piece ready)
3. 1 tomato
4. ½ cucumber
5. 1 radish
6. ¼ bell pepper of choice
7. 1 TSP pine nuts
8. 8 pitted Levant black olives (you can find these at your local Middle Eastern market, and some fancier supermarkets like Wegman's that have olive bars sell certain types of black olives as well.)
9. 4 TBSPS tahini
10. Extra virgin olive oil
11. ½ lemon
12. Kosher salt
13. Freshly ground black pepper, Aleppo pepper, dried mint
First, grab a serving bowl and place 2-3 handfuls of spinach into it.
Next, finely dice 1 tomato, ½ cucumber, 1 radish, and ¼ of a bell pepper. Add them into the bowl.
Chop up your chicken breast into smaller pieces and add them to the bowl.
Add your 8 pitted black olives.
Now, grab a small frying pan and drizzle in 1 TBSP of olive oil. Once the olive oil shimmers add the pine nuts. Toast them to your liking. I like them dark brown but you can get them to be medium brown.
Add them on top of the bowl.
Now grab a small bowl for the dressing: add 4 TBSPs of tahini and add a splash of water. Mix well until it's a creamier and add more water if necessary. Add ½ lemon. Mix. Add ¼ TSP of dried mint.. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to your liking. Mix well and pour onto the salad.
Add an extra squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of salt if you please, and enjoy!