summer salad

Israeli salad with a green herb tahini dressing

25th September 2012

just because…

Because it has been far too long since I last posted here and although I have missed it,  my mind has been full up and spilling over.  So I stop and start in this space, reluctantly abandoning it, vowing to come back later when the flow is complete and coherent.

And now…

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Since our move here, there has been chaos and calmness. There has been rough winds and still days, and finally, it has settled, and that sense of quiet inside has returned.

After my first two weeks in Portugal, one of the many things I missed from Israel was the wonderful salads, loaded with a freshly chopped mixture of raw vegetables, doused in good-quality olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and the typical Israeli vibrant-green flourish of fresh herbs.  Served with hummus, sourdough bread and good olive oil,  it makes a wonderful bowl of raw, earthy goodness for brunch, lunch or dinner.

I make this salad in Summer when I am able to pick small crunchy, cucumbers straight from the garden, a few sun-warmed tomatoes and handfuls of freshly picked herbs.  It is important for the vegetables to be fresh, ripe and flavoursome.

Israeli salad with a green herb tahini dressing

Serves 4 – 6

You can use any vegetables you have on hand or in season, as long as they are fresh and finely chopped.  Add a handful of toasted nuts and seeds or crumble in salty dry feta cheese.  Use whatever herbs inspire you – parsley, thyme, dill, tarragon, mint or coriander, or a combination of all.

ingredients 

1 medium fennel bulb

1 medium carrot

4 Lebanese or mini cucumbers (don’t use big cucumbers)

8 small cherry tomatoes

1 cup small bitter leaves

¼ cup fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, dill and/or mint), finely chopped

a few glugs of good quality cold-pressed olive oil

1 Tbsp za´atar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

preparation

1.  Prepare the vegetables, slice the base off the fennel and remove the first fibrous outer leaf, then cut the bulb in half lengthways, place each half, cut side down and cut lengthways into fine shards – the slices should be almost paper-thin (a mandoline slicer is useful for this.) Peel and chop all remaining vegetables into the tiniest cubes you can manage – approx 3-mm cubes.

2.  Mix all vegetables, leaves and herbs in a large, earthy salad bowl, drizzle with a good quality cold-pressed olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the za´atar – set aside while you make the tahini dressing.

GREEN HERB TAHINI DRESSING

Inspired by Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini  (I prefer the hulled lighter tahini)

½ cup/100g water

2 Tbsp/25g lemon juice

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/30g fresh parsley leaves

1 cup/30g fresh coriander leaves

½ cup/6g fresh mint leaves

preparation

1.  Combine the tahini, water, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until you have a consistency that is pourable, adding extra water if you need.

2.  Add the parsley, coriander and mint and process again until the herbs are broken done. Taste, add lemon or salt if needed.

When serving, allow each individual to pour the dressing over their serving of salad.

Lovely served with oven-baked crunchy pita’s, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with za´atar.

Goodness shared from Stacey

summer salad

13th September 2009

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“This salad is good!  You could share this with the world!” my son announced over dinner the other night. So how could I not share it with you?

This is a salad that I serve with every meal, taking advantage of all of summer’s beautiful, bright colours.  I love to add purple basil, small leaves of the rainbow chard, deep green mint leaves – whatever catches my eye in the garden.  Sometimes I saute green beans with the zucchini or grate the raw zucchini into strips instead of cooking.  Another wonderful addition is pumpkin or sweet potato chopped in small cubes, lightly sprinkled with ground cumin, a pinch of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, then roasted on a baking tray until the pumpkin is tender, and added to the salad.

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summer salad

ingredients 

3 cups garden greens and edible flowers (lettuce, baby kale, arugula, spinach, chard, beetroot leaves, basil, mint, parsley, coriander)

1 carrot, shaved with a potato peeler

1 cucumber, chopped

½ cup sprouts (see how-to sprout own)

4 small garden zucchinis, halved & quartered lengthwise

dressing 

cup pine nuts

1 Tbsp honey (add a little hot water to make it more liquid)

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

5 Tbsp olive oil

juice of one lemon

salt and pepper

preparation 

1.  In a very hot skillet, drizzle a little oil/ghee and add the halved zucchinis, cook, until a little charred on all sides. Put aside to cool.

2.  Wash, spin and dry the green salad leaves, shave the carrot into long strips, slice the cucumber, add the sprouts and cooled zucchinis in a large salad bowl.

3.  Lightly dry toast the pine nuts until lightly golden.  Put aside 2 tablespoons and roughly chop.

4.  Place the rest of the pine nuts with the remaining dressing ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute, scraping the sides as needed.

5.  Drizzle over the salad, lightly toss, sprinkle with the reserved chopped pine nuts and serve.

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Shared goodness from Stacey

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