This recipe comes from the wonderful book, PERSIANA by Sabrina Ghayour. This is her debut cookbook and it is full of enticing and unusual recipes, using traditional ingredients and techniques with a modern, light translation. It is one of the best cookery books I have read in years.
Ghayour says: “Middle Eastern food can be heavy and plentiful, so you need to pair it with light, refreshing dishes that cleanse the palate and aid digestion. This is just that kind of dish – it is a perfect accompaniment to heavy meat and poultry dishes, providing a lovely fresh flavour – and it looks beautiful, too. The lightly sweetened dressing works well, counteracting the acidity, and I just love the intense crunchiness of this salad.”
1/4lb radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1 English cucumber
2 small red onions, cut in half and thinly sliced into half moons
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
For the mint and orange blossom dressing:
1 tablespoon clear honey
1 1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of mint leaves picked and coarsely chopped
Place the sliced radishes in a large bowl. I like both the skin and the seeds of the cucumber, but if you prefer, you can peel the skin, then halve the cucumber lengthways and scoop out and discard the seeds. Slice each cucumber half thinly into half moons and add these along with the red onions to the bowl. Give everything a good mix.
Make your dressing in a separate bowl. Put in the honey, orange blossom water and lemon juice and stir until the honey has dissolved, then add the olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and, lastly, the chopped mint. Pour the dressing over the salad, coating all the ingredients with it well, then add the toasted pine nuts. Toss the salad one last time and serve immediately.