Herb Salad with Feta Cheese, Halvah, and Green Almonds
Photo: Staci Valentine
The Persian tradition of a sabzi platter—aromatic herbs, radishes, alliums, salty feta, and sweet halvah—is equally delicious in salad form and a great way to use up all those extra herbs you bought for your Seder. Another seasonal Persian favorite — green, or immature, almonds — adds an unusual tart note. When very young, the entire almond fruit is edible, from its green, peach-like fuzzy outer layer to the clear, jelly-like nascent nut inside. As it matures, the still tender nutmeat whitens and the outer layer becomes too hard to eat. Look for them at farmers’ markets in almond-growing areas and also at Persian groceries. Green almonds are lovely both raw and pickled. If you don’t have green almonds, make this beautiful early-spring salad anyway.
- In a salad bowl, combine the lettuce, chives, mint, tarragon, and radishes. Just before serving, thinly slice the almonds crosswise and add to the salad. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice over the salad, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly.
- Mound the salad on a serving platter or divide among individual salad plates. Top with large feta and halvah crumbles or serve with slabs of each on the side.
Amelia Saltsman is the daughter of a Romanian mothern and an Iraqi father who met in the Israeli army and immigrated to Los Angeles, where she was born and raised. Her cooking reflects her eclectic background, with the diverse flavors and cultural touchstones that have made her award-winning first book, The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook, a beloved classic. Amelia's name is synonymous with intuitive, seasonal cooking, and she is regularly sought out for her expertise by publications such as Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, U.S. Airways, FIt Pregnancy, The Jewish Journal, and Los Angeles Times. She is a frequent guest on KCRW's "Good Food with Evan Kleiman" and a longtime advocate for small family farms. Amelia lives with her family in Santa Monica.