More than seventy years ago, we left our homes. Seventy years later, we are still holding on to your identities. Palestine is a diasporic nation with sub-identities from the different places we sought refuge in. However, we all agree on two main sub-identities: Madani (Urban) / Falahi (Farmers). Both identities have different traditional outfits, food, and accents. Both are proud of their heritage despite not, oftentimes, having ever gone home.
On my mother’s side, I am a Falahi and on my fathers, I am Madani. But since my mom is a better cook, I’m bringing you this Falahi farmer’s salad recipe.
Like most Falahi recipes, this is simple and relies on fresh ingredients more than elaborate cooking techniques. Palestinian farmers use this salad to present the vegetables they grow. But most importantly, farmers use this dish to showcase their olive oil of the year, which, oftentimes they are proud of more than anything else.
This salad is incredibly widespread and popular and this post is the only place I would use “Farmers Salad” to refer to it, because between Palestinians this is simply called: salad. This salad can be modified according to what you have in the fridge or what’s growing in your garden, so my Falahi grandmother won’t judge you for changing ingredients but she will judge you if you skip on the olive oil! Needlessness to say, use your top shelf oil for this.
1 cup cucumbers, finely diced
1 cup Tomatoes, finely diced (preferably cherry tomatoes)
1 small onion, finely diced
¼ cup chopped Mint
¼ cup chopped Parsley
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 freshly squeezed lemon
1 tsp Sea salt
1 tsp Sumac (optional)
1 hot green pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup white cheese, diced
1 spring onion, chopped
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add dressing before serving so as to prevent a soggy salad.
Mohammad Ali is a Palestinian writer and TV showrunner who just moved to Chicago from Amman, Jordan. When he’s not writing or watching TV, Moe can be found perfecting his Shakshuka recipe by the kitchen stove or on a campfire outdoors.