A celebration of Palestinian ingredients
This aromatic recipe draws inspiration from a dish I enjoyed on the breezy seafront terrace of Donyana restaurant in the historic coastal town of Akka. Donyana is a derivative of the word that means ‘the world’ in Arabic and, wandering through the city’s ancient winding streets and Ottoman-era fort, the mélange of influences that have gathered here over the centuries is tangible. Paying homage to that, this glorious mixture of textures and flavours celebrates local Palestinian ingredients.
2 fennel bulbs (about 300g in total)
1 tart apple
15g dill, coarse stalks removed, finely chopped
15g parsley leaves, finely chopped
30g sweetened dried cranberries or sour cherries
50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
1 organic or unwaxed orange, zested
Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Core the fennel and apple and, using a sharp knife or mandolin, cut both into very thin slices, saving any fennel fronds. Place the fennel and apple in a bowl with the herbs and cranberries or cherries.
Toast the almonds in a dry pan over a medium heat until they turn golden brown, then add them to the salad.
Pour over the juice of half the orange (or to taste) and the lemon juice, orange zest and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently and taste—you may want to add a squeeze more lemon or orange juice to adjust the acidity or sweetness to your liking. Scatter with the reserved fennel fronds, if you have them.
This salad can happily sit for 1 hour or so before serving—in fact it even improves, as the flavours have a chance to harmonise.
Recipe: Yasmin Khan
Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan (Absolute Press)