There are many great Lebanese recipes for salads, and I am not one to play favorites typically. But then there are moments like yesterday, when my Uncle Dick commented on my post about Lebanese cucumbers, remembering the tomato, cucumber and sweet onion salads his father, my Jido, used to make.
Good morning sweetheart, the small, fuzzy cuke you refer to is called “mintha.” That was also grown by your Jido Sam Abood. His tomato, cucumber and onion salads were too delicious to describe adequately. Of course, fresh mint (na na) and lots of smashed garlic (thume) were mixed in as well as olive oil, salt, pepper and topped off with fresh lemon. I’m still getting in as many of these in as I can before the season here ends for these fresh ingredients. I’m sending all of you and yours all my love and wishes for continued good health. Uncle Dick
Leave it to one of the Abood brothers, sons of Sam, to make your mouth water and send you straight to the kitchen. Of course this is the very favorite Lebanese salad!
I just wish we could all have a bushel of the mintha, the fuzzy Lebanese cukes that hardly anyone seems to grow anymore. The seeds are elusive, which makes me want to open an online store for all seeds and cuttings that we need for our Lebanese gardens: the mintha, the coosa, the wild grape leaf vines.
Collect (or rather, hoard) your ingredients immediately. There is no time to waste with the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, at least not here in Michigan.
And know that, like my Uncle Dick, I’m sending all of you and yours all my love and wishes for continued good health!
Lebanese Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Mint
One of the best things about this salad is the juice that waits in the bottom of the bowl, ready to be sopped up with thin pita or flatbread. Make the salad an hour or so in advance to let the flavors meld. Serves 4.
6 5-inch cucumbers, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 beefsteak or a variety of tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 sweet onion, sliced into thin half-moons
2 cloves garlic, green center sprout removed, minced
15 leaves spearmint, or na’na, torn or sliced chiffonade
2 tablespoons crushed dried mint
4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Salt and pepper
In a large salad bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes and onion. Top with the garlic, fresh and dried mint, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, stirring well to coat the vegetables evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning. Eat the salad up and then make another, soon.
Print this recipe here.