Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, and Syria.. the Levant describes, traditionally, the Eastern Mediterranean at large, but can be used as a geographical term that denotes a large area in Western Asia formed by the lands bordering the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, roughly bounded on the north by the Taurus Mountains, on the south by the Arabian Desert, and on the west by the Mediterranean Sea, while on the east it extends towards the Zagros Mountains.
Roasted figs, dates, homemade labneh, toasted nuts, field greens, herbs, peas shoots and caramelized onion balsamic..
Make labneh (yoghurt cheese) by draining the whey from cultured, whole milk yoghurt. Roll into balls, coat with za’atar or other spices and submerge in olive oil and store in a cool, dark place up to several months.
Caramelize onions in a heavy skillet. Add balsamic, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. Set aside
Split figs into quarters by cutting through the stem end, leaving connected at the base. Place a ball of seasoned labneh in the center and broil until the cheese is soft and the figs begin to caramelize. Set aside.
Toast nuts (pistachios, almonds, etc.) in a dry skillet until golden brown. Season with sea salt, break into pieces and set aside.
Split fresh dates into quarters, discarding the pits.
Rinse and dry such mixed field greens as are seasonally available. I like to add arugula for its peppery bite and peas shoots for the added nutrition.
Lightly toss salad with cooled onion balsamic and mound on a dinner plate. Top with broiled figs, date slices and nuts.
This post is part of the Real Food Wednesdays Blog Carnival