Friends – Pumpkin Spice Latte’s may be back, but it is still HOTT out there! Soak up these last days of summer with a nice picnic, and add some of our healthy chicken salad to your basket while you’re at it. Now, I’ll admit, I’m …
Hello! It’s been a sec here at Three Teas Kitchen since we have last posted – but that does not mean we haven’t been eating well, this Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad included! This salad is a lovely medley of fresh summer produce and warm Moroccan …
This Asparagus Fattoush is proof that you can use whatever is in season or what you have on hand to make this beloved middle eastern salad. It is so fresh and the perfect addition to your Memorial Day Mediterranean Mezze Table. Along with some other stellar contenders like hummus, borek, potato chop, lahm bi ajeen, tabouleh! Or maybe on the side with kabob. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
What is Fattoush?
Basically, it’s fried bread in salad. Um, yum. The dressing is a lemon sumac dressing. Add vegetables…truly whichever you have or are feeling that day…and BOOM you have fattoush! Some common herbs and veg that are in fattoush are cucumber, tomato, lettuce, radish, parsley, green onion, mint – but all these can be added or subtracted to your liking.
Lets chat about the pita
Pita is a critical part of fattoush, so lets take a moment here. You may remember a previous (and one of our first!) post on how to make pita chips. Well, same thing applies here. Basically cut up pita, place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Pop it in a 375F oven for about 15 minutes, and you have the perfect pita for your fatoosh. Sooo good, I dare you to not to eat it all off the sheet pan.
As we are at the imaginable line of spring and summer, aka Memorial Day, I wanted to use a little from both seasons. I saw some beautiful asparagus, radish and butter lettuce at the market and could not resist. These all pair really well with the lemony notes from the sumac and dressing. Like many middle eastern salads the dressing has a 1:1 ratio of lemon to olive oil, making it very zippy and fresh. I also added some lovely Persian cucumbers, tomatoes, green onion and fresh mint.
Want more Mediterranean Salads?
We are gearing up for summer here. These delicious salads are the perfect way to welcome the season. You can find them all on the blog by going to “recipes” at the top and clicking on “salad” from the drop down menu. But here are a few to get you started!
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¾ tbsp sumac
- ½ tsp salt, more or less to taste
- 1 bushel of asparagus, cut on a diagonal into pieces, and then blanched
- 1 head of butter lettuce, or whatever lettuce you have
- 2 vine tomatoes, or whatever tomato you have
- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 4 radishes, sliced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- pita chips **(recipe linked here)
- ⅔ cup parsley, chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped (optional)
- sumac for garnish on top
- To blanch the asparagus bring a pot of salted water to a boil. In meantime prepared an ice water bath. Once boiling add the asparagus and cook for 1 minuet. Remove asparagus and place in ice water bath for a couple minuets. Drain and remove. Place asparagus on a paper towel to remove excess water.
- Follow this link on how to make the best pita chips!
- Mix lemon juice, olive oil, sumac and salt in a bowl or mason jar.
- Place lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radish, asparagus, green onion, pita chips, parsley & mint (if using) in a bowl or platter.**
- Add enough dressing to your liking and toss.
- Sprinkle a little extra sumac on the salad. Enjoy right away!
Say hello to this tahini ranch dressing slathered over romaine salad! Not sure about anyone else here, but more recently in quarantine, I have been leaning into some fresh greens. It could be because of all those borek, comforting rice dishes and middle eastern cookies….but …
Einjarada, meaning “the eye of the grasshopper” in Arabic, gets its name from the main ingredient that gives this salad its distinctive flavor – dill seed, which resembles (you guessed it) a grasshopper’s eye. But the question remains – who made this salad best? Was it Jido/Papa or Tata/Mama? The answer to this question varies depending on which of the five Tarazi boys you ask. Recently, my Baba (#3 of 5) and Uncle Ned (#2 of 5) joined me in my kitchen along with my Uncle Eddie (#5 of 5) via video chat to settle this epic battle.
While both of my paternal grandparents have been gone from this life for some time now, attempting to recreate each of their versions of this flavorful salad with my Dad and uncles brought me back to the many times in my childhood when we would spend time in my grandparent’s home and kitchen. I can still vividly remember my Jido with a big smile on his face greeting us at the door each time we arrived and before we had a chance to even ring the doorbell. And then there was my Tata always cooking away in the kitchen pretending not to listen as my Dad and uncles told me, my sisters and cousins crazy stories of all the trouble they got into as children. It was a very energetic, loud and absolutely wonderful time that made me completely nostalgic and a little sad as we were recreating these dishes the other day. As time has gone on, The Tarazi clan has grown up and moved around the country making the moments we are all together few and far between. But I guess that’s the main reason we started this blog in the first place – to keep these memories alive for generations to come while creating some new ones of our own along the way.
So I want to especially thank my Dad, Uncle Ned and Uncle Eddie for helping me relive those treasured moments through cooking and food. It was a short time together, but one I will truly treasure and pass along.
And now back to the moment you all have been waiting for, the winner of the battle of best Einjarada goes to (drum roll please) …… BOTH Jido and Tata. We tasted each separately and then ended up combining elements of both for the very best! Recipe of this combo is below and variations between the two versions are in the notes.
It’s a salad with quite a punch and best enjoyed with some grilled pita. Happy eating and reliving of your own childhood memories.
- 8 tbsp Dill Seed (whole)
- 2 Green bell peppers chopped
- 6 green onion chopped
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 6 persian cucumbers (or 3 pickle cucumbers)
- 4 roma tomatoes medium
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup lemon juice (about 4 fresh squeezed lemons)
- 7 cloves garlic
- 1 jalepeno pepper
- 1¼ tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup whole parsley leaves for garnish
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- red pepper paste (optional to taste)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- With a mortar and pestle, grind 4 tbsp of dill seed until fully ground, add 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes and continue to grind until mixed. Add 7 cloves of fresh garlic, sea salt, chopped jalepeno pepper (remove seeds) and continue to grind until fully incorporated and ground to small bits.
- In a separate bowl, emulsify olive oil and lemon juice (with immersion blender or speedy whisk), then whisk in the spice mixture from the mortar and pestle until fully mixed.
- Chop green peppers, yellow onion, tomatoes, and cucumber to similar sizes. Finely chop green onion (discard 1/8 from top and 1/8 from bottom). Combine all chopped veggies in a bowl.
- To the bowl of veggies, add garlic powder and 4 tbsp of whole dill seed. Mix.
- Add the dressing to the salad and mix thoroughly.
- Mix feta cheese in lightly.
- Garnish with parsley before serving.
This salad comes together quickly and is so refreshing and flavorful.The freshness comes from the mix of parsley, mint, lemon, cucumber and tomato. This is a common side salad that greets many Middle Eastern tables and can pair with about any dish, such as kabob, …
This is NOT your grandma’s mayo filled potato salad! This is our Tata’s refreshing and tangy potato salad. This potato salad is very light and crisp with its fresh ingredients of parsley, green onion, and lemon juice. It’s the perfect summer potato salad and will be a hit during your Memorial Day BBQ.
- 3 lbs yukon gold potatoes (can also use red skin or russet)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 3 medium sized lemons
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Place potatoes in a pot and add just enough water to cover all the potatoes. Season the water generously with salt
- Boil potatoes in water until the potatoes are just soft enough to stick your fork through. They should not be too soft as they need to hold their shape when mixing the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients in the potato salad
- Strain water from potatoes and let them cool
- While waiting for the potatoes to cool, chop the parsely and green onion and juice the 3 lemons. Set aside
- Once cooled enough to handle, peel the skin from the potatoes. The skin should come off easily in this step (if not that means you did not boil the potatoes long enough and will need to repeat step 1)
- Cut the peeled potatoes into bite-sized pieces (about 1 inch cubes)
- Once the potatoes are cooled completely, combine the parsely, green onion, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add salt to taste