Chances are, you’re not all too familiar with Syrian cuisine. Neither were we, until we picked up a copy of Our Syria, a collection of recipes from recipe developers and food enthusiasts Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi. Now we’re craving all things pomegranate, lemon, parsley and tomatoes, plus spice blends and other seasonings you’ll find yourself using in your everyday repertoire. This fresh thyme and halloumi salad is a perfect pairing for a simple roast.
This salad from Aleppo adds a fragrant, citrusy edge to any meal and is possibly our favorite salad recipe in the whole book. It makes for a particularly great combination with roast lamb or roast chicken. The dressing left at the end is great for dipping crusty bread.
The old city of Aleppo in general is famous for its distinctive za’atar, a spice mix made of dried thyme and sesame, which is one of the must-have Syrian cupboard ingredients. It is imperative that if you visit Aleppo you return with a bag of their za’atar as a gift for friends.
- 1 ounces fresh thyme
- 3 1/2 ounces halloumi, cut roughly into 1/2-inch-cubes
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo Pepper
- A squeeze lemon
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- olive oil, for drizzling
For the salad
Make sure you buy the greenest, freshest thyme that doesn’t have woody stalks. Coarsely chop the thyme. If there are any particularly woody stalks, strip the leaves by running your fingers down the length of the stalk from top to bottom. Place the leaves in a bowl.
Add the halloumi, tomato, onion, pepper, lemon juice and molasses to the bowl and mix well. Drizzle with oil and serve.