At least one salad is compulsory when having mezze, and the most common one is probably tabbouleh, but I chose to make fatoush instead, the same way we made it in Syria when cooking with the chef.
I completely forgot to take a photo of it, but it looks like a regular green salad with tomatoes and peppers, chopped herbs and some Arabic coûtons on top. These:
4 cucumbers, roughly diced
4 tomatoes, roughly diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 head of lettuce, romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1 bunch mint, only the leaves, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
(2 bunches purslane, chopped hackad – if available)
Arabic croûtons (deepfried left over pitta/flatbread)
Mix the vegetables. Add the chopped herbs. Season to taste with vinegar, molasses and spices. Add the croûtons just before serving.
Maroccan carrot salad, serves 4-6
1 kg carrots, peeled and sliced
80 ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 spring onion, chopped
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp pickled lemon peel (I used the same amount grated lemon peel)
1 bunch coriander, chopped
(120 ml Greek yoghurt (I omitted this, soygurt would not have worked)
Peel the carrots and cut them in 1 cm slices. Boil in salted water 10 minutes or until they have softened but still are crunchy. Drain.
Heat up the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for 10-12 minutes until soft and brown. Add the carrots and the rest of the ingredients apart from the fresh coriander (and yoghurt). Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Leave to cool completely and sprinkle with coriander just before serving. Ottolenghi suggests serving this in individual bowls with yoghurt on top.