I absolutely love that dish. I ate it once at the home of Sadek Tabbarah, a Lebanese architect. His wife had made it and we ate it along with halloom sandwiches for dinner. Glistening with olive oil, studded with pine nuts, mellow from the caramelized onions and tangy with lemon juice, I thought at the time that I could eat this every day and not tire of it!
But when I moved to France and later to the States I kept looking for hindbeh or wild chicory so I could make it again, to no avail. Finally, a friend said that I could use dandelions, that it was the same plant, except cultivated. Relief. In fact, any green will do, including collard greens that can be purchased frozen. If you like to eat greens, you will love this salad!
INGREDIENTS: This quantity will be sufficient for 4 people
2 Bunches of dandelion greens or 20 oz of frozen collard greens
1 lb of onions, chopped
1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of pine nuts (optional)
salt, to taste
6 cloves of mashed garlic or 1 Tablespoon of toom
1/2 large lemon, juiced, plus 1 or 2 more lemons to juice individually
- Cook the dandelion greens (previously washed thoroughly and chopped coarsely) in a lot of water (about 2 quarts) until they wilt, around 5 minutes. Dump the whole lot in a sieve over a bowl and when cooled a bit, press with a wooden spoon to extract most of the water. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan and when hot, drop the onions and fry them for at least 15 minutes until they turn golden, then brown. I add a teaspoon of brown sugar to help with the process. When the onions are brown but not burnt! add the greens and mix with a wooden spoon to incorporate very well. Add the pine nuts and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 more minutes. Add the mashed garlic the last 5 minutes of cooking. Cool the mixture a bit and serve at room temperature with lemon quarters to squeeze individually on each plate. Sahteyn!
It is customary to garnish this salad with extra caramelized onions, so when you are done browning the onions and before adding the greens you may wish to set a portion aside for the garnish.
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