Raw vegetable salads

Raw vegetable salads

By
Greg Malouf, Lucy Malouf
Contains
7 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742708423
Photographer
Alan Benson

We’ve split our salads into two chapters: those made with raw vegetables and salad leaves, and those made with cooked vegetables, because in Middle Eastern countries the latter are often considered a category in their own right.

In truth, it’s something of a fine distinction. But then the very term ‘salad’ is also a bit tricky. Most Middle Easterners make little distinction between dishes that we might otherwise call cold appetizers (such as dips), and salads. They are all just mezze! One thing that holds true though – be they raw or cooked – is that salads are nearly always considered dishes in their own right. They are rarely relegated to ‘accompaniment’ status, in the way that we tend to view them, somewhat dismissively, in the West, although they are usually served together with a selection of other dishes for sharing around the table.

As it happens, some of our very favourite meals are salads, and we love the endless permutations and combinations of texture and flavour that they offer. We firmly believe that salads can hold their own with any other kind of dish, especially when they incorporate generous handfuls of fresh herbs, toasted nuts and seeds, and all sorts of fruits and soft tangy cheeses.

The most important thing of all with raw vegetable salads is to use the freshest and finest ingredients. There is such an abundance of great produce nowadays, that there really is no excuse for resorting to a sad bag of limp lettuce leaves. If you are a vegetable gardener, then you’ll already be tuned into the seasons, but otherwise, be led by what’s on offer in farmers’ markets and greengrocers.

None of the recipes that follow is strictly traditional, but they all borrow heavily from tradition and incorporate some of our favourite Middle Eastern flavours and ingredients. As with all the recipes in this book, they’re designed to be eaten as part of a group of dishes, however several of these salads would also make a lovely light lunch just on their own – perhaps with some warm bread on the side.

Recipes in this Chapter

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