The idea for this salad came from chef and cookbook author Marlene Mattar, one of my favorite Lebanese chefs. I, of course, had to make it my own by adding other ingredients. Her salad includes red leaf lettuce, sliced green almonds, arugula and feta cheese. I added sliced sun-dried tomatoes, purslane instead of arugula, and lupini beans (termos).
Green almonds are in season now and sold by streetcart vendors all over Beirut; in the US, they can be found in Middle-Eastern or ethnic stores, sometimes at farmers markets. The lupini beans are sold in jars in the Middle-Eastern stores (they are very popular for a mezze) and I have also found them in Latino markets in Dallas. Any other legumes would work. The purslane is sold in Latino stores under the name verdolaga, as it is a popular herb in Mexico. This herb is also sold in major health food chains under the French name mâche. In Lebanon, it is available year-round and is tremendously popular and always included in a fattoush salad.
The beauty of salads is how versatile they can be; I made another one later with pita croutons, sort of like a fattoush.
1 cup of green almonds, sliced (sprinkle with fresh lemon as they oxidize very quickly)
1 cup of purslane or other herb such as arugula
1/3 cup of shredded sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup lupini beans or other beans
Dressing: 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 olive oil
salt, to taste
Aleppo pepper, to taste
1. Place all the ingredients ia a bowl; mix the dressing prior to serving and combine with the ingredients. Serve right away.
At least, Spring is always there, year after year.
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