Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

Tag: salad

Asparagus Fattoush

Asparagus Fattoush

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 […]

Tahini Ranch Romaine Salad

Tahini Ranch Romaine Salad

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 […]

Citrus Tahini Kale Salad

Citrus Tahini Kale Salad

With the holidays being over I am craving a kale salad in a major way. I mean we went from summer, to 2 seconds of fall, to a baked goods manifesto over the holidays, and now here we are. This salad is currently giving me life and is a right of passage to embracing the winter season. Mmmk?

The dressing has tahini blended with fresh citrus, standing up nicely to the leafy kale and bulger base. It also has pops of flavor from spiced pistachios and fresh mint. There you have it, your basic tabouleh/kale salad has been winterized.

Lets take a moment to talk about citrus. At this time of year, it is on point! There are so many varieties out there. I love cara cara oranges because of their slightly pinkish color and they have a little more sweetness and tang than traditional naval oranges. Blood oranges are stunning for their ruby color and notes of berry. And, tangerines, are delicious for their strong, tart flavor. One of my favorite ways to really elevate citrus is to supreme it! No I am not talking about the hip fashion line. Supreming is a technique where you are essentially removing the rind of the citrus and cutting into slices. It allows the beautiful bejeweled colors of the citrus to shine through.

How to supreme citrus:

1. First trim the end of the citrus. This allows you to see where the rind meets the flesh.

2. Next, gently wedge your knife between the rind and flesh and cut off the peel.

3. Once fully pealed, slice the citrus into pieces of desired width. Now you have bejeweled citrus!

If there is any bit of winter blues, hit this salad up. Its loaded with vitamin C, bright colors, and will fill you up from head to toe 😉

Citrus Tahini Kale Salad

This kale salad is a touch of brightness to the winter season! It has creamy tahini blended with fresh citrus and pops of flavor from spiced pistachios and fresh mint. It comes together quickly and is a stunning addition to your table.
Prep Time30 mins
Bulger Prep1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Salad
Keyword: bulger, cirtus, kale, salad, tahini, winter salad

Ingredients

Citrus Tahini Dressing

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • cup tangerine or any orange variety juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp water

Kale Salad

  • 8 cups chopped kale, any variety works
  • 4-5 of any citrus, I used cara cara and blood oranges in this picture, supreme cut*
  • red onion, few thin slices, (optional)
  • ½ lemon
  • 5-6 mint leaves, coarsely chopped or torn

Spiced Pistachios

  • ½ cup raw unsalted pistachios (if you have salted on hand, just reduce the salt)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • pinch of ground red pepper, (optional)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey

Bulger

  • 1 cup medium grain bulger
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.

Bulger

  • Mix bulger, water, lemon juice and salt in a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or so, mixing occasionally. Once liquid is absorbed fluff with a fork. **

Citrus Tahini Dressing

  • Whisk together tahini, lemon juice, tangerine (or other citrus juice), garlic and water until combined.

Spiced Pistachios

  • Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Mix cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt and ground red pepper (if using) together in a small bowl. Place pistachios on baking sheet and drizzle honey on top and give a quick toss. Sprinkle spice mixture and give another quick toss. Bake for about 7 minutes, mixing pistachios midway. Once out of the oven, add a light sprinkle of salt and mix.
  • This makes a decent amount of spiced pistachios. You can decide to use all or save some for snaking later. Either way is delicious!

Kale Salad Assembly

  • Pour tahini dressing on to kale and toss for about a minute.
  • Add red onion (if using) and bulger to kale and toss to combine. Add juice of half a lemon.
  • Plate salad and scatter supremed citrus, spiced pistachios and torn mint.
  • This salad stores well for up to 2-3 days in your fridge. Enjoy!

Notes

*What is a supreme cut? Supreming is a technique where you are essentially removing the rind of the citrus and cutting into slices. It allows the beautiful bejeweled colors of the citrus to shine through. To do so, first trim the end of the citrus. This allows you to see where the rind meets the flesh. Next, gently wedge your knife between the rind and flesh and cut off the peel. Once fully pealed, slice the citrus into slices of desired width. Now you have bejeweled citrus!
** Bulger is softened by absorbing the liquid it rests in. I prefer this method for salads, rather than cooking, as it allows the grain to maintain more of a bite. After it has soaked for an hour, spoon into salad. If there is any additional liquid, leave it in the bowl. The bulger will continue to soften as it sits in the salad. 
Einjarada

Einjarada

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 […]

Middle Eastern Salad

Middle Eastern Salad

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, […]

Spiced Watermelon and Feta Salad

Spiced Watermelon and Feta Salad

Nothing quite beats the combination of watermelon and feta. The refreshing sweetness from the watermelon perfectly counters the saltiness from the feta. This combination is always a summer staple in our house. Watermelon, feta and pita for breakfast – lunch – dinner – dessert – it was always a yes!

Whenever I talk about watermelon, I instantly think of my Jido William (dad’s father). As you know, he was a lover of sweets and food and had a joyful round belly to show for it. He used to tell me he swallowed a watermelon whole, and that’s how he got his belly. It was one of those things that I did not completely believe or disbelieve growing up. Kind of like my uncle who would hand me gum every time he saw me because he said he had a gum factory in his pocket. Being a kid- the possibilities were only limited by your imagination!

Well, I reimagined feta and watermelon into this salad. Building on these naturally delightful flavors, this salad has peppery arugula, cumin for an earthy warm spice, coriander and lemon for some citrus and brightness, refreshing mint and a touch of honey and red onion for a little something extra.

Watermelon makes me happy because it reminds me of my Jido. This salad is a celebration of flavors and burst with freshness. I hope it makes you as it happy it makes me. If you have any similar childhood memories please share!

Spiced Watermelon and Feta Salad

This salad is a celebration of flavors and burst with freshness. It is so easy to put together and so tasty!
Prep Time20 mins
Marinating Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cubed watermelon
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup red onions, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled

Instructions

  • In a medium sized bowl or mason jar whisk/shake together lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cumin, coriander, salt, honey, red onion and mint.
  • Place dressing on watermelon. If time allows, place the watermelon in the fridge for an hour or so to allow the watermelon to marinate in the dressing.
  • When ready to serve, add arugula and sprinkle in feta. Mix until just combined.
Tata’s Potato Salad

Tata’s Potato Salad

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 […]

Jajeek

Jajeek

Similar to its Greek cousin, Tzaziki, Jajeek is a super quick and easy salad/dip to make. With four basic ingredients of yogurt, cucumber, mint and garlic, you’ve got a cool, refreshing dish with a flavorful punch. It’s delicious with pita chips, on top of kabob, […]