Favorite Lebanese Summer Salads

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The start of August seems like the perfect time reach into our treasure trove of recipes and recall all of the delicious Lebanese recipes for summer’s bounty. Plus we have so many new readers, it only seems appropriate that we welcome you with a look-see at the Lebanese recipes and stories that have been cooking here on Rose Water & Orange Blossoms for the last two years.

We’ll start with Lebanese summer salads, classics that are healthy and satisfying on their own, and perfect with your summer grill suppers these weeks. It’s no accident that these salads all feature mint, or na’na, one of our favorite herbs. Right now the mint is going strong in the garden and at the market; get some and go for it!

Classic Tabbouleh Salad
Go easy on the bulghur! And be sure to wash your parsley and let it dry out completely before chopping.

Tomato and Onion Salad with Mint
Tomatoes are our passion, no? Dad loved them, and I suspect you do too. Oh, and check out my favorite tomato knife, which cuts them up like a charm.

Yogurt, Cucumber and Mint Salad
Make your own yogurt, or use plain high quality yogurt from the store.

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  1. I’m enjoying your blog so much it makes my mouth water! My father &mother both came from Lebanon. Your recipes are right on from what I can remember. There is an excellent pumpkin kibbeh dish recipe on a site called Taste of Beirut. I made it yesterday and the aroma of the onions and spices still permeate my kitchen! My motheri-in-law used to make the flat bread! Good luck!

  2. Our traditional Summer Salata is a basic cucumber (Armenian if we have any) salad. Tomatoes for color and onion for flavor. Sprinkle on garlic, ground celery seed, cinnamon (of course), nutmeg, salt and pepper. Olive or vegetable oil over the top and mix thoroughly.

    Growing up we always had a big garden and this was a several times a week salad during season. Not to waste anything, we dipped bread in the juice at the bottom of the bowl and sopped up all that was left.

    I thought it must be eaten in every Lebanese/Syrian family but I have never seen it on any food web sites. So I don’t know if it was just a thing with my Grandmother that she passed on to her children or if any other families eat the same dish.

    1. I’m intrigued by the cinnamon and nutmeg in the salad Roger! I will try it. Your “salata” is quite familiar otherwise!

      1. This is one I stood over my mother and made her measure (over protest that it’s done by taste) one day.

        6C cucumber, cubed, 2C tomato, cubed, 1C onion, slivered, 1/8t garlic, 1/4t ground celery seed, 1/2t cinnamon, 1/4t nutmeg, 1/8t pepper, salt to taste, 1/4C oil. mix thoroughly.

        I have to admit that even though I wrote this down I do it by taste also.
        My mother didn’t like to give this recipe out because “IT HAS TO BE EATEN FRESH”. I can hear her voice now. “People let it set and then wonder why it isn’t any good.”

        So my mother has warned you.

  3. Do you have a recipe for pumpkin kibbe? I remember eating this delicious concoction as a child in Lebanon and have yet to come across a good recipe.

    I truly enjoy your posts.

  4. Just finished my cucumber yogurt salad last night with Imfalfalee (Bulgar and chicken). Yummm…with tomatoes coming, my taste buds are hankering for Tomato Cucumber Salad. Like your Tomato and Onion but with cucumbers added. Your right about the bulghur in Tabouleh. A little is better than a lot…in my cookbook I think there is toooo much bulghur in the recipe. Ouch…that hurts to say I may have a small mistake in the recipe…