Growing up in a Lebanese household has many advantages. To name just a few; hummus, babaghanoush, fatayer be sbanich (a triangular shaped pastry pie stuffed with spinach). Yum! But food aside, I was blessed with the world’s most amazing mama. I know we all say that, but mine really is the most amazing 😉
Mama always taught us that you should never deprive yourself of good food, and what she meant by that wasn’t, eat as much as you want. She meant that food was an important part of our lives and even in tough times, you should never cut corners on the food budget. In fact, we lived modestly, but we always had a refrigerator full of food fit for a king. Mama never checked the price on anything she bought at the supermarket and always bought what she thought were the best ingredients.
We immigrated to Canada when I was 8 years old and while we became Canadian, we maintained our Lebanese heritage, mostly in the kitchen. Mama often made traditional Lebanese dishes, and might I add that she is a fantastic cook and one of the most generous human beings I have ever known. Our friends were always welcome and eating was mandatory.
When we were children, salad was a regular side dish, among a million other side dishes to accompany a meal. Let’s just say that she cooked for an army, and we were a total of three. I remember she always made the same dressing, which I began calling “Lebanese” Salad Dressing, but I was curious to try the “Canadian” Salad Dressings I had seen in the commercials and at my friends homes. So mama, not wanting to deprive her children of ANYTHING, started buying bottled dressing from the supermarket for us to try, but we’d always have a container of homemade “Lebanese” Salad Dressing in the fridge at all times. I’m willing to bet she has a small tupperwear container of the stuff somewhere in her fridge now.
Over the years, as I became more health conscious, I started to realize how terrible most bottled dressings were and how much better it was to make your own simple dressing at home. In short, I started to appreciate my mama’s “Lebanese” Salad Dressing, a very simple dressing at that, but after all, the best things in life are also the simplest things in life.
So here it is, Mama’s “Lebanese” Salad Dressing, tangy and delicious!
- 4 Tbsp of Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed (about 1 medium sized lemon)
- 1 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, preferably cold pressed
- 1 Clove of Garlic, pressed
- 1/4 tsp of Sea Salt
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, adjust seasoning to taste, and serve with salad or as a dressing for simple steamed vegetables.
For a variation on the traditional recipe above, add a sprinkle of your favourite fresh or dry herbs. My favourites are thyme, oregano and sumac.