Everybody in Beirut goes to the mountains when the heat and humidity of the summer first hits, around July, and you see narrow winding mountain roads teeming with cars piled up with mattresses and all manner of odds and ends for the summer getaway trip that lasts until September.
So, here I was with my grandmother in this nice hotel, and I would take meals with her; the tables at the hotel were covered with white linen tablecloth; every table had plate and silverware and a small dish of olives, along with a bag of pita bread.
One table had, in addition to that, a small dish with a green pepper in it. Every day. A green pepper on a small plate. I was so intrigued. I asked: ” Why does this table have the green pepper and we don’t?”
” Because the gentleman requested a green pepper on his table” I was told.
” Because he likes to eat green pepper”
The gentleman in question was a retired bachelor and he liked to eat his green pepper with his olives and bits of pita bread, every day, before his meal.
This totally trivial episode stuck with me and one day, I decided to check out the green pepper and olives with pita idea.
I fell in love with it.
Now I buy green pepper and cut big chunks and put an olive on it and eat this with some pita bread and it makes me happy.
Salad consists of shredded carrots; diced Armenian cucumbers; olives; chopped parsley.
Dressing is the usual lemon juice, olive oil combo with a smidgeon of mashed garlic and some grated fresh ginger.