Butterhead Lettuce with Eggplant Yogurt, Smacked Cucumber and Shatta

This salad brings together so many amazing flavors and is one of our new go-to starter salads. The eggplant yogurt cream pairs so well with the spiciness of the shatta, you'll be asking yourself why you hadn't make this salad sooner.

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Ingredients and Recipe

Butterhead Lettuce with Eggplant Yogurt, Smacked Cucumber and Shatta

Recipe Credit
Cookbook – Falastin: A Cookbook (p. 96)
Author – Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley
Note: This recipe has been updated + slightly altered for website editorial purposes.
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins

Equipment

  • Chefs Knife
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • Peeler
  • Digital Kitchen Scale
  • Mise en Place Bowls
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper or Silpat Baking Mat
  • Food Processor
  • Lemon Juicer
  • Ramekin or Small Bowl

Ingredients

For the Smacked Cucumber

  • 1 large English cucumber peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, and watery sees removed with a spoon
  • 25 g parsley (1¼ cups) roughly chopped
  • 25 g mint leaves (1¼ cups) roughly chopped
  • ½ clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the Eggplant Yogurt

  • 2 large eggplants (1 lb 2 oz / 500g) halved lengthwise, each inside half rubbed with 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • ½ clove garlic finely chopped
  • tbsp lemon juice the juice from about half of a lemon
  • tbsp tahini
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Salad Assembly

  • 8 oz butterhead lettuce the original recipe calls for 5-6 baby gem lettuces (1 lb 2 oz / 500g), bases trimmed. if you can find, definitely use these instead!
  • tbsp shatta red or green (see recipe on our site for 'Shatta (Red or Green)') or substitute with harissa
  • ½ tsp black sesame seeds you can also use regular sesame seeds or nigella seeds. the original recipe calls for Urfa chile flakes. if you can find, definitely use these instead!
  • kosher salt for garnish, to taste
  • black pepper for garnish, to taste

Instructions

For the Eggplant

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Place the eggplants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat, cut side up, and roast until soft and very well browned, about 40-45 minutes.

For the Smacked Cucumber

  • To prepare the cucumber, place each half on a chopping board, cut side facing down. Using the flat side of a chef's knife, lightly "smack" them until bruised but still holding their shape. Dice the cucumber into cubes and set aside in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add the parsley, mint, garlic, olive oil and salt to the food processor. Blitz for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides a couple times, until smooth. Add to the bowl with the cucumbers. Set aside and clean the food processor.

For the Eggplant Yogurt

  • Remove the roasted eggplants from the oven and scoop the eggplant flesh out into the food processor, along with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, tahini and salt. Blend until completely smooth, about 1 minute, and set aside until needed.

Salad Assembly

  • Arrange the lettuce on a round platter, overlapping the outer and inner circles to look like the petals of a flower. Lightly sprinkle the lettuce with salt and black pepper, then splatter the eggplant yogurt.
  • Spoon on the cucumber, drizzle with the shatta, sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

All of the elements of this salad can be made ahead of time; up to a day for the cucumber and eggplant yogurt. The shatta needs to be made in advance, so make sure to head over to our recipe post to make some! It lasts in the fridge for up to 6 months and goes on just about everything, so it’s perfect to have around.
Author: Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Sides
Cuisine: Israeli, Middle Eastern, Palestinian

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Falastin: A Cookbook

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