Destinations Magazine

I’ll Just Have Salad – Really

By Periscope @periscopepost
Fattouche, tabbouleh, parsley salad in Lebanon

A salad in Lebanon: Fattouche, tabbouleh, parsley, amazing. Photo credit: Gabrielle Jackson

‘I’ll just have salad.’

Wasn’t that a line in an Eddie Murphy film? He was on a date and his date said, ‘I’ll just have salad’ and the implication was that women just eat salad because they’re trying to watch their weight to look good for their man. Or was it just considered unfeminine to dig into a big steak? I don’t remember what the movie was called, or anything else that happened in that movie (I do remember I was on a date with a boy called Julian). I just remember that part because it was so annoying (I also remember he didn’t kiss me).

What is unfeminine about eating? I’m still annoyed by that. The only way that line would work for me is if it were in Lebanon. Because then, my friends, you have salad.

If someone said, ‘Do you want a parsley salad?’ most people would probably turn up their noses. A parsley salad? How bland! (Not me, I’ve got a penchant for parsley.) But tabbouleh! Well, tabbouleh done well is just a wonder to behold. The freshness of the mint and parsley combined with the zing of the lemon and the crunchy bulgar wheat is one of the best things in life to eat. And here it is served with big crisp lettuce leaves, so you eat it out of them.

And what about a salad with bread in it: What would you say to that?

‘Ah, whatever, a salad with bread. Big deal!’ And if you said that you’d be crazy. Because missing out on fattouche would be the biggest mistake of your life. Crunchy radish – and sometimes carrot or cauliflower or whatever crunchy vegetable is in season – with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprinkled with sumac and topped with crispy fried Lebanese bread. But what makes this salad so good, in my opinion, is the pomegranate dressing. And the sumac sprinkle. And the crisp bread. And the crunchy vegetables. And the lettuce.

Such simplicity. Such flavour!

These are simple ingredients, but they are seasonal and fresh. The best quality produce, a wonderful medley of textures and a combination of flavours that leaves you feeling you’ve done a good thing for your body and your taste buds. This must be why I’m on a high after every meal I eat here.

If I could eat salads like the tabbouleh and fattouche you get in Beirut every day, I’d even consider giving up kebabs. Although if you could get tabbouleh and fattouche like you do in Beirut, then you might be able to get chicken schawarma like you do in Beirut, in which case I probably couldn’t give it up. Hmmm. Maybe I could give up chocolate instead? OK, let’s try again.

If I could eat salads like the tabbouleh and fattouche you get in Beirut every day, I’d even give up chocolate, or go on a date and say, ‘I’ll just have salad’ and not even find myself annoying.

This post first appeared on KebabQuest.

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