This salad is named after a monk who will remain nameless; presumably he lived in one of the monasteries that pepper the Lebanese mountains and like all monks, lived a frugal life eating whatever vegetables his plot of land produced (which was the case for most Lebanese villagers and not just monks!).
In any case, this is a refreshing and healthy salad that is usually part of the offerings at a mezze. I think of making it whenever the temperatures skyrocket, as is the case here these days.
- 1 1/2 pounds of eggplant (one or two large or the little ones)
- 1 bunch of parsley or other herb
- 1 bunch of green onions or one small white or red onion
- 4 Tomatoes
- 1 Green pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- olive oil, as needed
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 Tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (optional, but recommended)
- salt, to taste
- Peel and cut the eggplants into slices and sprinkle with salt; set it aside until it spits out a lot of brownish liquid.
- In the meantime, cut all the vegetables in small dice, mince the parsley and transfer to a salad bowl; chop the garlic and mash in a mortar with a dash of salt. Transfer the garlic to a bowl and prepare the dressing: pour the lemon juice and olive oil and pomegranate molasses (if desired) and mix with a small whisk or a fork.
- Wipe the eggplant slices dry and sprinkle with olive oil; bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes or grill until soft. Chop the eggplant into dice and transfer to the salad bowl.
- Add the dressing to the salad bowl and combine all the ingredients; taste and adjust seasoning if needed and serve.
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