We can all get stuck in the dinner party rut with smoked salmon, salad, or if you’re pushing the boat out scallops with pea puree among the traditional starter choices. But this mouth-watering Arabic veggie salad (in honour of World Vegetarian Day on 1 October) with the sweet taste of pomegranate molasses, is guaranteed to impress.
Kcal: 326 per serving
Fat: 22.5g per serving
Sat fat: 3.2g per serving
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
- 2 pitta breads
- Olive oil
- 2 tsps sumac (found in all major supermarkets)
- 3 baby gem lettuce, chopped
- Small bunch of mint, chopped
- Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 small cucumbers, diced
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 pomegranate
For the dressing:
- 72ml pomegranate molasses (found in all supermarkets)
- 50ml cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 2 tsps sumac
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 125ml olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Cut the pitta bread into 1-2cm squares and spread these out on a baking tray.
Step 2: Pour a little oil over them, then sprinkle with sumac and toss so they’re lightly coated. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp and slightly brown. Leave to cool.
Step 3: Put the lettuce, chopped herbs, cucumber, tomatoes and spring onions in a bowl. Scatter the radish slices and pomegranate seeds over the top.
Step 4: Make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together until smooth. Then add salt to taste. Many people like this dressing quite tart but play with the flavours to suit yourself.
Step 5: To serve, simply pour about half the dressing on the salad, add the pitta croutons and toss everything together. Serve the remaining dressing in a bowl to accompany the salad.
From Comptoir Libanais by Tony Kitous and Dan Lepard (£20, Preface)