This salad, our Lebanese coleslaw, reminds me of Nayla, a classmate that I used to accompany home for lunch everyday for a few months until the war (it was in 1975) and frequent sniper fire forced us to stay home. Her dad was a deputy (Member of Parliament) for the South and their apartment had a huge dining-room table with a half-ton chandelier, or so it seemed. Her mom wanted Nayla to lose some weight so she had instructed their chef to make escalopes and malfoof salad for us, every day. In the summer of 2006, before the Israeli onslaught, I used to walk to Nayla‘s restaurant in the Gefinor Center in West Beirut and order gelato and cookies, both delicious. It was funny to me how her mom had wanted her to lose weight so badly and as a consequence Nayla as an adult plunged into the catering and baking business! Like the French say chassez le naturel, il revient au galop! (in other words, true nature will overcome hurdles).
So, to get back to this salad, it is one of the basic homestyle Lebanese salads. My grandmother used to sharpen her knife and shred the cabbage extremely fine, but I admit I lack her patience. So, I use a food processor. Sprinkled with some dried mint and dressed with the ubiquitous garlic/lemon juice/olive oil dressing, this was offered at least once a week at our home and everywhere else. The jalapeno pepper I added cut in little dice because I live in Texas and it is available here year-round.
Making the dressing:
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
2 and up to 6 garlic cloves
salt, to taste
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