Julie Taboulie shares her favorite flavors in this fresh, bright Lebanese-style summer lunch.
Read my Summer 2017 Issue:
Sweet, buttery, and nutty mache lettuce leaves lend themselves so well to my and lovely Lebanese summer salad. Delicately layered with fresh clover sprouts, tender asparagus spears, fresh sweet peas, and slivers of peppery radishes then finished off with heaping amounts of fresh herbs, my sweet pea salad is a splendid standout for the season. Simply spooned with my cool and creamy cucumber-mint yogurt dressing, called khyar b laban, leaves the most luscious, lingering, and refreshing taste on your tongue that you will savor all summer long.
4 ounces mache lettuce rosettes
4 ounces fresh clover sprouts
½ pound fresh asparagus tips
½ pound fresh sweet peas
6 radishes, thinly sliced into half moons
3 scallions, ends trimmed, green and white parts thinly sliced
1 small bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 cups labneh or plain, full-fat Greek yogurt, chilled
2 garlic cloves, finely mashed into a smooth paste
½ Persian cucumber, finely minced
1 small bunch fresh mint leaves, finely minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
Note: If you are preparing the salad ahead, refrigerate it, undressed, and covered with plastic wrap until you serve it. Dress the salad just before serving.
- Pour the yogurt into a medium stainless-steel mixing bowl, and whisk until it is silky smooth.
- Add the garlic, cucumber, mint, and salt to the yogurt, and mix together thoroughly. Taste and add additional seasoning if needed.
- Cover the sauce with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
- Spread the mache on a large flat serving platter and layer the clover sprouts over the small leaves by gently pulling the sprouts apart with your fingertips.
- Place the asparagus tips on top followed by the peas and radishes. Spread the scallions, chives, and mint all over the ingredients and set aside.
- Drizzle with the cucumber-mint-yogurt dressing and serve immediately.
Taboulie Tip! Look for fresh, firm, and thin asparagus spears, which will offer the most tender taste for this summer salad. The cucumbermint- yogurt dressing can be made up to two days in advance, and tastes better the longer it sits in the refrigerator.
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