Summer Salad Series Part 2- Egyptian Balela Salad

In Part 1 of my Summer Salad Series, I shared the recipe for Salata Baladia, ubiquitous in pretty much every Arab country. This time we focus on the country of Egypt, with their protein packed and colorful Salata Balela, or Balela salad:

 

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I particularly love this salad because I adore sweet cherry tomatoes, especially this time of year. The addition of basil is unique here as well, as generally Arab cuisine focuses more on mint or parsley rather than basil. Olives, olive oil, black beans, and chickpeas add a hearty texture and good healthy fats, rendering this an easy weeknight meal for vegans.

While I forgot to mention this spice in the video, SUMAC adds a lemony tang and beautiful color as well.Sumac comes from dried and coarsely-ground berries which have a sour, citrus-flavor. The burgundy-colored berries grow in clusters, and are widely used throughout Middle Eastern cuisine. Sprinkle the deep red powder over salads, dips like hummus,  to season chicken, or use to garnish rice. Also try combining sumac with fresh lemon juice and olive oil as a salad dressing, as done with this salad. Now that you know about this salad, time to put it together–I guarantee it will be a hit if you bring it to your next potluck or picnic. Or watch your coworkers drool if you bring it to work for lunch 😀 Check out how easy it is to put together below: 

 

 

 

BALELA SALAD (DIRECTIONS IN VIDEO ABOVE)

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow) chopped
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans (rinsed)
  • 3/4 cup garbanzo beans (rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Dressing
  • 1 tsp SUMAC
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 good quality
  • 6 leaves basil finely sliced

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