Lebanese Malfouf Salad (Chopped Cabbage with Mint)

Levantine cuisine can be difficult, especially when it comes to getting your hands on all of the ingredients outside of the Levant. This tasty Lebanese Malfouf Salad however, needs nothing more than some basic ingredients and 10 minutes of your time, without sacrificing taste. The combination of cabbage and mint is so surprising, that no more fuzz is needed.

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It's the mint and the lemon, olive oil, garlic dressing that makes this Lebanese Malfouf Salad stand out.

The one thing I have always loved about the Middle East is the Meze: many different small dishes on the table to share. While having traveled to the Middle East a lot — and of course having tasted as many different tastes as possible — every now and then I can still add a new dish to my palette. Today that is a Malfouf Salad.

What is Malfouf Salad?

Malfouf Salad is a simple side dish based on cabbage. I used a white cabbage, but red cabbage or a mixture of the two is also not unseen. It is a traditional dish in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Jordan. 

Sometimes the Levantine spice mixture Za’atar is added, but this is very much optional. We provide you the basic recipe, without Za’atar.

Ingredients

As a side dish for 2-3 servings

  • A bowl of shredded cabbage
  • A few branches of mint (optional: dried)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) of olive oil
  • 1 big (or 2 small) clove of garlic
  • Pinch of salt
Just a few ingredients make for a great tasty Lebanese Malfouf Salad

How to make Malfouf Salad

Prep time: 10 min.

  1. Optional step: drying the mint. By drying the mint, you add a bit of flavor. Regular mint works fine too, so if you want, you can jump to step 2.
    Put the mint in a preheated oven at 60°C (140 F) that you now swich off for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the mint and take it out as soon as the leaves start to curl. If you leave them longer, they’ll turn brown.

  2. Shred cabbage such that it fits a salad bowl.

  3. Chop up the 2 small cloves of garlic as fine as possible and mix with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of ½ lemon, and a pinch of salt. (Alternatively: use a mortar and pestle to mix well.)

  4. Take the mint leaves and tear them apart with your hands.

  5. Mix the cabbage with the dressing and the mint.
Easy and quick but as always in the Levant: outstanding!

Summary

Recipe: Malfouf Salad
Country: Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan
Prep: 10 min.
Total: 10 min.
Ingredients: cabbage, garlic, mint, olive oil, salt, lemon
Type of meal: starter, side dish, salad

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