This popular Arab salad is different from conventional Western salads in that all the ingredients are finely chopped and absorb the dressing and each others' flavors better. Do not prepare it too long before serving, as the ingredients will wilt. Dress it just before putting it on the table. Ingredients can vary according to taste.
- 1 small romaine or cos lettuce or 1/2 large one
- 2 small cucumbers or 1 longer one
- 3 tomatoes
- 1-2 red Italian onions if available, or 1 large mild onion, or 1 small bunch scallions
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
- 4-5 T. finely chopped parsley
- 1 T. finely chopped fresh dill or chervil (optional)
- 2 T. finely chopped fresh mint or 1 t. dried crushed mint (optional)
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1 T. lemon juice or wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed with salt (optional)
- Salt and black pepper
Wash the lettuce, if necessary. Peel the onion or scallions. Shred the lettuce; cut the cucumbers (peeled or unpeeled, as you wish) into small dice. Dice the tomatoes (remove the seeds and juice first), and chop the onions finely, using a sharp knife, or an Italian mezzaluna chopper if you have one. Put the prepared vegetables into a salad bowl and mix lightly with the radishes and herbs.
Mix the dressing ingredients thoroughly, sprinkle over the salad, and toss well.