Spiced cheese salad

June 12, 2010  •  Category: ,


This salad is Sylvia Titizian‘s family’s salad that is made with the surquig or shankleesh cheese; in Lebanon, this salad is part of a large mezze spread and usually enjoyed with a glass of arak, our national drink. Sylvia’s family uses walnuts, I used pecans.


  • 1 or 2 balls of surquig or shankleesh cheese (can be bought at middle-eastern stores or made-see previous post), chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped coarsely
  • 2 Large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • Dressing: olive oil – I used walnut oil and raspberry vinegar


63 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. eleni says:

    I am sure that I cannot find this cheese here… I do not leave in Athens and you understand it is something unreachable outside itl!!
    The ingredients are excellent… I really enjoy watching your meals/meze/salads all recipes!!

  2. elra says:

    I should really try to get my had on this cheese Joumana. It looks so tempting. Have a wonderful time in your hometown.

  3. Jen_from_NJ says:

    I will have to look for these cheeses because this would make a delicious and different appetizer. I love your walnut and raspberry vinegar dressing – sounds perfect with the other ingredients!

  4. Rosa says:




  5. Christine @ Fresh says:

    This appetizer truly ascends the concept of cheese and crackers. Surquig looks so much like feta, but firmer. I’m going to have to look up the type of milk that is used to make this cheese, it looks so good!

  6. Lyndsey says:

    The salad looks wonderful! I will have to try to make the cheese! Your photos are outstanding!

  7. sophia says:

    wow, what an amazing salad. This is definitely one salad I won’t turn my nose up on! I think I would prefer this with pecans, too!

  8. Nadji says:

    Toujours un plaisir de te rendre visite.
    les photos sont très belles et ta salade certainement bonne.
    Va savoir pourquoi, elle me rappelle les vacances et la chaleur de l’été.
    A très bientôt.

  9. Jamie says:

    Looks a bit like feta. Is it similar? Looks delicious! And your new profile picture is gorgeous!

  10. Priya says:

    Thats a tempting cheese salad, love this..

  11. Katerina says:

    I have heard of arak. This salad has so many lovely ingredients. It would be perfect with fresh, warm bread.

  12. Barbara says:

    I adore salads like this, Joumana, but the cheese makes all the difference. Will have to search it out! Any alternate suggestions?

  13. citronetvanille says:

    Jolie salade pleine de saveurs! est-ce fait avec du fromage de brebis le shankleesh? Je ne connais pas du tout…ca ressemble un peu à la feta, non? en tout cas, ton amie Sylvia a des recettes bien sympa…je me dis qu’il doit faire chaud au Liban vu les plats frais que tu prépares dernièrement. Profite bien!

  14. sab says:

    encore une recette tres gourmande

  15. SYLVIA says:

    Bravo Joumana, this is spectacular, and you are a winner, you did an excellent job with this appetizer salad., this is the most requested appetizer salad in my family, it brings us all together and crowd our memories one another in our minds. I like how you added the pecans it is nice hearing them fall on the plate.
    We are all visitors on this earth, if we can’t help each other and not share our recipes, then what do we take with us when we leave this earth.
    I am very grateful to you for posting my family recipes, and humbled by giving me credit for it, which by the end you were the big laborer of this recipe.
    Blessings , Sylvia

  16. T.W. Barritt says:

    I do enjoy walnuts combined with cheese. The anise flavor of your national drink is a really nice combination!

  17. deana says:

    So many things that are new… arak.. and that cheese… just got haloumi, now must find this new cheese… delish!

  18. Sushma Mallya says:

    yummy & a healthy salad…

  19. El says:

    This looks like such a great treat. I hope I can find the cheese!

  20. Grapefruit says:

    Looks beautiful (as always). Another amazing appetizer from you to try out!

  21. Ivy says:

    Now I am convinced that I should make the cheese. Wonderful flavours in the salad.

  22. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – How did I miss 3 posts??I just checked the day before and I cannot believe I missed your post on dolmades – I LOVE dolmades…I also love this salad – amazing how a little bit of tomato, red onion, walnuts and the right cheese can create such magic.

    I can’t even imagine how much fun you are having right now in your hometown( don’t look now but my envy is showing 🙂

    Enjoy it and share the snippets of life there with us so we can visit through you 🙂

    Take care my friend ~

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  23. melrose says:

    It looks delicious! Remindes me on labneh:)

  24. Cristina says:

    Oh! What a beautiful salad…I would so love to taste the shankleesh cheese, as I luv cheeses.

  25. Amal says:

    J’ADORE!!! dès que j’ai un peu de temps, je me mets au travail.. merci pour la recette!

  26. internet marketing says:

    this looks yummy. too bad the cheese isn’t available here. can i replace this with feta cheese?

  27. Alina says:

    Looks so good! I love the inclusion of walnuts, and walnut oil as well. Raspberry vinegar is something new for me, is it really raspberry-flavoured?..

  28. oum mouncifrayan says:

    très élégante dans tes articles et photos!!!!

  29. Miriam says:

    Lovely, Joumana!

  30. Mallika says:

    Recipe looks simple yet so flavorsome! I haven’t seen or heard of shankleesh cheese. Is it similar to Feta or Cottage cheese? It looks tempting and good. I would love to taste Arak too.

  31. Julie says:

    J’aime beaucoup cette salade, elle est fraîche et pleine de saveurs. Tes photos sont toujours un régal pour les yeux!

  32. PJ says:

    Lovely salad.I am just wondering if it will taste good if I make it with Indian cottage cheese/ tofu….

  33. Amy @ cookbookmaniac says:

    this is exactly the kind of salad i love to eat. yummy, fresh and satisfying.

  34. Joanne says:

    And yet another cheese gets added to my list of cheeses to try. 😛

    Awesome salad!

    Oh and my favorite winter squash is kabocha as well! I just couldn’t find any!

  35. bryan says:

    Looks Like a wonderful salad I have had something similar with feta, but your cheese sounds wonderful!

  36. Angie's Recipes says:

    A truly satisfying summer salad!

  37. Mary says:

    I’ll have to make the cheese in order to prepare this dish but it looks so good that I won’t mind. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  38. Kerstin says:

    This is my kind of salad – it looks so tasty and perfect for a potluck!

  39. shayma says:

    So scrumptious. Joumana, i love your new photo in the left margin…wow- you look lovely. Any chance you’ll take photos and put up posts about your beautiful city? I hope so. Enjoy your hols. x shayma

  40. Oui, Chef says:

    This looks so fresh, lovely and flavorful. I’ve never made any kind of cheese myself, but to make this dish, I think I’ll pull out all the stops and make my own shankleesh. Thanks for these two great recipes. – S

  41. Faith says:

    This is a beautiful salad. All the flavors go together so nicely — I love the nuts in there for a little crunch with the creamy cheese and refreshing tomatoes!

  42. sweetlife says:

    great salad, love all the flavors and the cheese looks amazing..


  43. Erica says:

    This is such a great idea! Your pictures are amazing… not to mention the thoughts of serving this…. Thanks so much.

  44. kim says:

    This unique cheese reminds me of feta cheese. Nice idea to switch up on the nuts for variation 🙂

  45. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    This looks so good. I’ll have to learn to make that cheese.

  46. tigerfish says:

    The cheese sounds very exotic to me! And must be the key flavor balancing the other ingredients 🙂

  47. Jessica says:

    Oh wow! What’s not to love! This looks amazing!

  48. Sue Stephens says:

    I wonder if I could use goats cheese or feta for this? They are making me hungry!!!

  49. Doc says:

    What aree the spices in the salad?

  50. peter says:

    I suppose any nut could be used here, depending on tastes and what’s available in the region. Pecans are a little pricier but worth it!

  51. Nadia says:

    Great for a summer’s evening! Delicious.

  52. 3hungrytummies says:

    I am doing my Lebanese week next so will look for the cheese. Looks like a really delicious dish!

  53. Rajani says:

    oh wow… this cheese is it like a spiced labneh??

  54. D. @ Outside Oslo says:

    That sounds delicious. I’ll have to keep this recipe on hand for a summer dinner!

  55. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Oh, Joumana, I have to catch up with your blog. I am having withdrawals. This looks lovely with pecans. Very unexpected!

  56. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Loved learning about the national drink – and yet another cheese I have never experienced. I may as well settle with the knowing that I will never live long enough. I am back from the land of report cards are due. The salad looks amazing. I love having a favourite family recipe in my hands…. and walnut oil is also another favourite… as is Pistachio oil, that I never use often enough.

  57. Rachel says:

    This looks wonderful! I just discovered your blog via the Spice Spoon and I’m totally wowed! Looking forward to following your blog!

  58. Mimi says:

    Fun for a hot summer evening when you don’t want to cook/

  59. domi says:

    Un délicieux moment de fraîcheur nous est offert avec cette salade de rêve en rouge et blanc….

Add a Comment