• Cauliflower and cranberry salad (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns
The salad possibilities are endless when they get a Middle Eastern touch.
2 Aug 2021 - 12:13 PM  UPDATED 9 Aug 2021 - 9:35 AM

Spiced pumpkin + chickpea & feta

Chickpeas can be a little underwhelming in their raw state, but when seasoned, spiced with baharat and roasted until crunchy, the humble legume transforms into something entirely more-ish. You can serve this salad warm or roast the pumpkin and chickpeas ahead of time for a quick throw-together dinner or ready-made work lunch. If you’re cooking for carnivores, simply add grilled chicken or lamb.

Warm lentil salad

Don't think for a second that lentils don't have a wild side. This vegetarian salad is sweetened with pomegranate molasses, made from the dark red juice of the pomegranate fruit, which has been cooked down to form a thick, tangy syrup. Teamed with beets and pumpkin, lentils have just upped the ante big time in this popping bowl.

Black rice with labne + pomegranate

The black rice with pops of colour from onion, carrot, pistachio, dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds is mesmerising. Once you've dabbled in jewelled rice territory, it'll be hard to go back to steamed... 

Cauliflower + cranberry 

The taste of homemade molasses is magnificent – sweet, sour and beguiling and this easy salad of pearl barley, cauliflower, a selection of chopped nuts and fresh herbs celebrates all of those flavours and more.

Cauliflower and cranberry salad

Bastourma + fennel & pomegranate molasses 

Bastourma is a punchy cured meat delight and so the likes of fennel, mint, pomegranate and ruby grapefruit team keep the bastourma in check and give this salad a freshness and crunch.


This classic Lebanese salad, known as peasant's salad, is made with fresh vegetables and herbs with the addition of fried crispy day-old bread. I'm using my grandmother's recipe to make my flatbread from scratch.

Fattoush salad with purslane and radish with homemade flatbread

Köfte with cannellini and tahini salad

This Turkish köfte are made from a combination of minced beef brisket and lamb belly for flavour and juiciness. You can cook them in a pan or over charcoal for an authentic flavour and here they're served with a tahini and white cannellini bean, tomato and egg salad.

Köfte with cannellini and tahini salad

More Middle Eastern bangers
Falafel with creamy yoghurt

Whether you like your falafel green and herbaceous, or pungently garlicky, there's no denying that this Middle Eastern street food is highly addictive! The Chefs' Line

Creamy hummus

You want hummus to be creamy and buttery – adding the iced water is part of the secret. I use a lot of tahini in this recipe, but I want it to be super creamy. 

Layered Turkish delight pavlova

The pink grapefruit in this pavlova has a lovely bitter flavour that cuts through the sweetness of the meringue and balances a rich meal. 

Lebanese za'atar pizza (man’oushe bi za'atar)

Taking its name from the Arabic word for ‘engraved’ because of the indentations on the dough, this pizza is a breakfast favourite.

Chocolate nut halva

Derived from the Arabic word for “sweet”, the term halva or similar is used in countries around the world to refer to countless varieties of nut- or flour-based confectionery. This sesame-based version, popular throughout the Middle East, is from Lebanon and is swirled with chocolate, slivered almonds and pistachios.