This is a cooked salad, made in Lebanon with dandelion greens (wild or farm-grown) called hindbeh. I decided to make it with turnip greens instead, because dandelion greens in the US are not comparable to the ones in Lebanon (in the US, their stem is tougher and the leaves are narrower); the turnip greens on the other hand are readily available, have wide leaves and taste great.
In Lebanon, this dish is a popular one for a mezze, but can also be served as a light meal in the home (perfect with a side of fried cheese). If you prefer to use dandelion greens or other greens (radish, beet, Swiss chard, mustard, spinach, kale), go for it.
In this salad, the greens are coated with olive oil and taste rich and mellow. The salad is served at room temperature for a mezze, but I prefer it slightly warmed-up as a light dinner.
Turnip greens saladJoumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern October 24, 2020 Salads, Mezze/Appetizers, barberries, vegan, mezze, olive oil, pine nuts, turnip greens, salads, fried cheese,
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
2 bunches of turnip greens (or other greens)
1/2 cup olive oil (more as needed)
2 large onions, one chopped fine, and the other sliced into rings; sprinkle salt on the onion rings and set aside.
1 Tbsp garlic paste (6 garlic cloves mashed with salt)
1/3 cup barberries (optional, or can be replaced by golden raisins), rinsed under running tap water before using
1 tsp raw sugar (or regular sugar, optional)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 package of cheese such as halloumi or a similar cheese (I used a Mexican cheese widely available in Texas at Latino supermarkets
- After washing the greens thoroughly, cut them into wide strips and boil them quickly in a pot of salted water for about 2 minutes until softened. Dunk them into a bowl of ice water, remove them from the bowl and squeeze them dry. Set them aside on a cutting board.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the onion rings until browned; remove and drain on paper towels.
- Now fry the chopped onion for a few minutes until it gets golden-brown; add the barberries and fry for a couple minutes, sprinkling the mixture with a teaspoon of raw sugar. Add the pine nuts and stir-fry till they get golden. Now add the chopped greens and mashed garlic and stir-fry for a couple minutes. Set aside in a serving dish.
- Add a couple tablespoons of oil to the skillet (if needed) and fry the cheese on both sides until golden. Transfer the cheese chunks onto the serving platter.
- Serve immediately with the cheese chunks and topped with the onion rings.
It is customary to serve lemon quarters with this dish, to squeeze on top if desired.
I always add the garlic at the end to preserve its pungent flavor; however, here it can be added right after browning the onions.
The onion rings can be sprinkled with salt prior to frying to make them purge their juice (and get them crispier when fried).
The pine nuts can be fried ahead (or toasted) and added at the last minute.
The greens can be boiled or steamed a day ahead as well and fried right before serving with the other ingredients.
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