Shangleesh Salad is the perfect start to any day! This simple Lebanese cheese salad is, on paper pretty run of the mill, there's not a lot to it after all, but it's simply spectacular!
Shangleesh, shankleesh, Shanklish, Chancliche, Shinklish, Sorke, or Sürke?
The star of the show is Shangleesh (this is the name I'm sticking with - it has SO MANY!), an aged Lebanese cow's cheese. The cheese is rolled into balls and covered in thyme then left to create cheese science magic.
The resulting taste varies on how long its been ageing - in Sydney the Shangleesh I bought was salty but quite mild compared to the versions I've found here in the US. The Shangleesh here is more intense in flavour. Beautifully herbaceous, salty and rich.
It's not too dissimilar to a feta, but less salty with more depth of flavour. It sometimes has chilli infused also which just adds more flavour sensation.
So, that's the star of the show! You can find it fresh in any middle eastern Deli, in the fridge section. Or online, preserved in oil at Amazon (which is a perfect alternative to fresh).
The salad itself is super simple, and super honest in its flavours of tomato, onion, Shangleesh, parsley and Extra Virgin Olive oil. Honestly though, when you scoop a little bite of this with your Lebanese flatbreads all the ingredients come together in one burst of 'good morning freshness!'
The perfect breakfast
When the sun is out, first thing - I'll whip this up in 5 minutes from ice cold ingredients in the fridge and sit out in the warmth taking scoop after scoop of this delight! One thing that really is essential is good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I used a very robust Spanish oil in this recipe, and I drizzled a LOT! It makes the difference!
It's traditionally a breakfast salad in Lebanon - I'd often make an early morning drive to my favourite Lebanese restaurant in Sydney, Al Aseel for breakfast and eat alongside their amazing Hot Foul Medames (Fava Bean salad), Delicious scrambled eggs and marinated olives. I'd then drive home and go back to bed!
For a different start to any day, wake up to Shangleesh Salad.
How to make my Shangleesh Salad
- 500 g Shangleesh Cheese
- 1/2 medium onion (finely diced)
- 3 medium tomatoes (peeled - optional) (de-seeded and cut into small dice)
- 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lemon (juice of)
- On a large plate, arrange the tomatoes in one layer. Add a layer of crumbled Shangleesh, a layer of onion and then parsley. Drizzle over all the olive oil and squeeze 1/2 lemon over. Finally, give a light grinding of black pepper. You won't need any salt, the Shangleesh has all the salt the dish needs.
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