Recipe: Palestinian Salad Dressing (and Salad)

I have to say the best thing to make this dressing in is a well-seasoned wooden salad bowl, but if you don't have one it will be just fine.

    • 1 large clove of garlic
    • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (approximately)
    • 1 lemon for juicing
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 head of romaine, cut into 2-inch-wide strips, washed and covered in a damp towel and left to crisp in the refrigerator for half an hour
    • 1 scallion slivered
    • 1 cucumber peeled and cut into half-moons
    • 3 radishes, cut into eights

Crush the garlic clove with the back of a kitchen knife and place in the bowl. Now crush the garlic with the salt in the bowl to make a paste. Whisk the lemon juice in and then the olive oil. Traditionally this was served over just super crisp cut Romaine, but I like to add cucumbers, scallions, and radishes to the salad as well. Once the salad is dressed you should eat it immediately, although when we make it at home if there are any leftovers my mother saves them for her breakfast!

To read Sara's piece about the importance of real olive oil, click here.

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Sara Jenkins is based in New York City, where she has developed a reputation as a fine rustic Italian chef. She runs Porchetta, an Italian sandwich shop, and Porsena, a casual restaurant focusing on classic Italian pastas. More

Sara Jenkins is based in New York City, where she has developed a reputation as a fine rustic Italian chef. As Mario Batali put it, "She is one of the few chefs in America who understands Italy and how Italians eat." Sara is also the author, with Mindy Fox, of Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond, released by Houghton Mifflin in September 2008.

The daughter of a foreign correspondent and a food writer, Sara grew up all over the Mediterranean, eating her way through several cultures and learning to cook what appealed to her. She began her professional career in the kitchen with Todd English at Figs in Boston, then went on to work as a chef in Florence and the Tuscan countryside, as well as on the Caribbean island of Nevis, before returning to the U.S.

In New York City, Jenkins became chef at I Coppi, earning that restaurant two stars from The New York Times. After similar turns at Il Buco, Patio Dining, and 50 Carmine, she began work on her own cookbook.

In September 2008 she and her cousin Matthew opened Porchetta, a storefront in the East Village focusing on porchetta, a highly seasoned roast pork common in Italy as street food or festival food sold out of a truck as a sandwich. Porchetta has been wildly successful in New York City, both with gourmands and ordinary folk alike. Porchetta was awarded the top spot in Time Out New York's "100 best things we ate in 2008" and also received a four-star review from New York magazine.

In 2010, Sara Jenkins will open Porsena, a simple and casual restaurant down the street from Porchetta focusing on classic Italian pastas.

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