Although the salad market in Syria is dominated by Tabouleh and Fattoush, many others are making presence. In restaurants in Syria people will order one of the many other options available on the menu. Olive, rocket and zaatar salads are as popular as Tabouleh between punters. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean the demise of the famous two. You will still get at least one of the two as a matter of default on your mezze spread. At home Tabouleh and Fattoush still dominate the table by a long way.
Today's recipe is a simple tomato salad. Needless to say, you need good quality tomatoes to get a decent tasting salad. The allspice dressing brings an extra depth and warmth to the simple flavour of tomatoes.
This salad can be a great mezze dish especially if you are serving grilled meats and kebabs. Another way I like to serve this salad is as a side to dry(ish) rice based dishes like Riz bi Bazalyah (peas rice) or Riz bi Foul (broad beans rice). These dishes are traditionally served with cucumber yoghurt sauce (tzaziki), but a bit of tomato salad could be a nice alternative.
This recipe is adapted from Po0pa Dwick's excellent book Aromas of Aleppo, The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews.
Here is the Recipe:
Three ripe tomatoes (or good quality cherry tomatoes)
Allspice 1/2 tsp
Aleppo peppers 1/4 tsp (chilli flakes)
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Parsley (optional to add some colour)
Chop the tomatoes and sprinkle with some chopped parsley leaves. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Dress the tomatoes and serve.