This has got to be one of the prettiest salads I’ve ever made, and the fresh parsley is what makes it so visually appealing. It tastes fresh and tangy and very much like spring! I have this salad every time I go to my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant, which sits unostentatiously in a run-down strip mall (don’t all of the best restaurants??)
As a teenager, I worked for a Palestinian family in their (now long-closed) sandwich shop, and developed a taste for Middle Eastern food in general and falafel in particular. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet figured out how to make falafel that doesn’t fall apart in the frying pan… 😦 Fortunately, I CAN make Jerusalem Salad — and with fresh pita bread, kalamata olives, and dolmas from the Mediterranean market, it’s an easy meal.
The dressing recipe makes much more than you’ll need for this amount of salad, but it keeps for several days in the fridge — and you might want more salad…
If you’ve never had occasion to buy tahini, you’ll find it at Middle Eastern or Mediterranean markets and some health food stores. It’s crushed sesame seeds made into a paste that’s nice and creamy for dressings.
I was told at my Mediterranean market that my jar of tahini would keep for a year in the fridge… I’m doubting that, but am willing to bet that it will keep longer in the fridge than in the pantry! Lemon juice bleaches the tahini in this recipe, so it’s an almost white dressing. It also makes a great dip for falafel, and is an essential ingredient in homemade hummus.
1 medium or large cucumber, diced
2-3 small tomatoes (Romas work well), seeded and diced
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp tahini dressing
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup Tahini
¼ cup water
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
Combine cucumbers, parsley and tomatoes in a bowl. Add tahini dressing and pepper and mix. Chill before serving. Enjoy!
Do you shop at ethnic markets? What is your favorite?