Salatet Amah Wa Ful Akhdar

Source: Reem Assil, Arabiyya

Recipe Type: , | Seasons:

سلطة القمح والفول األخضر (Wheatberry–Fava Bean Salad)

This recipe appears in Arabiyya: Recipes From the Life of an Arab in Diaspora by Reem Assil (Ten Speed Press, 2022) and was demonstrated at the Foodwise Classroom on March 16, 2024.

Serves 4-6


1½ cups wheat berries or farro
½ cup walnuts
Neutral oil, such as sunflower or canola, for coating the pan
4 ounces Halloumi cheese, cut into ⅛-inch slices
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons white vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
2 heaping cups fresh or frozen fava beans, soybeans, or peas
1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon peel (about ¼ of a preserved lemon; optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
⅓ cup thinly sliced mint (about 4 sprigs)
⅓ cup thinly sliced parsley (about 4 sprigs)
1 heaping cup arugula


Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water boils, add the wheat berries, turn down the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until tender; about 60 minutes. (If you are using farro, cook for about 20 minutes.)

Meanwhile, toast the walnuts at 325°F for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.

Warm a medium skillet over medium-high heat with enough oil to coat the pan. Gently slide the cheese slices into the skillet to minimize spatter. Cook for 1 minute on each side or until the cheese turns dark golden-brown and the surface crisps. Transfer the slices to a plate. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, toss the onion with the vinegar and the salt.

If the beans need cooking, add them to the pot with the grains a few minutes before they finish cooking. Otherwise, add them to the grains as they drain. Stir to disperse evenly and gently cook the beans. Drain in a colander and transfer to a medium bowl.

Drain the onion slices and place them in the bowl with the grains.

Add the lemon peel, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, pepper, and mint and toss. Adjust the pepper to taste.

To serve, transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Using your hands, crush the walnuts, crumble the fried Halloumi, and sprinkle them on top of the salad. The cheese and onion add salinity; taste before adding more salt.

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