Celebrating Palestinian Ingredients

A very simple Salad that celebrates the natural flavours of the simplest Palestinian ingredients, where the star ingredient is the smoked green wheat (Freekeh) one of Palestine’s most ancient and celebrated grains. While freekeh had just recently become the newest global trend in the world of grains, it had always been a staple grain in the Palestinian pantry and cuisine.

I am sticking to the spirit of this recipe’s original cuisine and using my amazing Palestinian Nebali olive tree’s olive oil in making the dressing and the staple Palestinian red chili sauce known as Shatta in creating the dressing that will round up the overall flavours beautifully. Always a best seller in my menus always a crowd pleaser in yours!

Note: Shatta is spicy, adjust quantity according to your preference.


Serves: 4 Cook Time: 20 mins
  • 2 cups cooked freekeh (follow this link for instructions)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped red tomatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 large red capsicum, finely chopped
  • roughly chopped fresh mint leaves

For the Palestinian Shatta dressing

Mix all the ingredients well together and dress right before serving.

Serve cold and enjoy the organic flavours of the season 🙂


  • For a colourful presentation, thinly slice some of the vegetables used in making the salad and top the salad with these slices along with toasted thin slices of sesame Kaek or bread.
  • Prepare the dressing and keep refrigerated in a jar. Prepare the salad without dressing and keep refrigerated. Dress right before serving for a quick, filling and nutritious meal/snack anytime. Keeps well this way for up to 3 days.

I had prepared and served this salad in my pop up at Lafayette Gourmet which was designed to preview my cookbook “Plated Heirloom’s” recipes before its launch. You know I always advise you to taste before you buy and that pop up was a taste the recipes before you buy the book kind of effort. It was a hit and the best selling salad on the menu. I had also prepared and served it in the 2015 Food Styling & Photography workshop, where everyone raved about its flavours. This beautiful image of this salad here was taken by one of the workshop participants from Kuwait, my friend Mishari Fahed.

So I do recommend that you give it a try and see how amazing this salad is, and when you do remember the best foods are always the most simple of foods.

The best foods are the simplest foods…

It really is a no brainer, and does not require any convincing. Simply pick an orange off the tree, peel it and eat it mindful of its flavours, its story and see if it is not the best thing you can ever taste. We do not need to meddle and fuss, great things are all around us, and the best cooking philosophy is combining this natural goodness in a way that works without attempting to change it, just have it fresh and as is. Isn’t this exactly the opposite of processed foods. When you serve freekeh, you want to taste freekeh. When you add tomatoes, you want to taste them and have them lend a property to the freekeh to compliment the experience. Who wants to add anything to a dish that they don’t want to taste? Have you ever tasted a bottled preservative? Do you want to? Perhaps it lasts longer but it definitely does not qualify as the best food you have ever tasted.

keeping things simple is perhaps one of the most challenging tasks to our overly complex brain! But is it not doable?

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