Living in Lebanon people are used to eating fresh fruits that are locally grown and whenever they are in season. In the winter season, people eat a lot of dried fruits and this salad is a reflection of this. Made of dried fruits that are poached or marinated overnight in syrup with a few nuts it is a delicious and very nourishing dessert. It is prepared for the purpose of offering to guests that show up at one’s door unexpectedly, a custom that is disappearing in the cities but still common in the villages. It is also offered during the month of Ramadan.
I consulted May S. Bsisu’s book The Arab Table for this recipe and adapted it a bit.
INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 6 to 8 servings
- 1 cup of dried apricots
- 1 cup of dried prunes
- 1 cup of dried figs (optional)
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1/2 cup each of pine nuts, almonds, walnuts and pistachios.
- 1 tablespoon of rose water
- 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- Soak the dried nuts (pistachios, pine nuts, almonds, walnuts) in separate bowls for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight.
- Make a syrup by placing the sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring and boiling for about 3 minutes. Add the rose and orange blossom water, stir and set aside.
- Rinse the dried fruits under the running faucet, add to the syrup. Marinate the fruits for a few hours or overnight.
- Remove the nuts from their respective bowls, peel the nuts, including the walnuts and almonds. An easy way to peel the nuts is by rubbing them with your fingertips against each other.
- Place the peeled nuts in the serving bowl along with the dried fruits and syrup. Serve either in small bowls individually or in a large bowl.
NOTE: It is also customary to add some apricot nectar (from a can or by soaking sheets of apricot leather or amardeen in water overnight, then pureeing in a blender). Peeling the nuts is highly recommended, especially the almonds.
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