A traditional Lebanese appetizer from my childhood, these Garlicky Greens with Caramelized Onions are typically served cold and eaten with small pieces of torn pita bread.
It’s the kick-off of farmers market season which means the arrival of my favorite super food: dark, leafy greens. Affordable, versatile and readily available this time of year, readers are always asking for new ways to prepare greens so today I’m sharing one of my favorite Middle Eastern appetizers that I learned from my Aunt Paula: Garlicky Greens with Caramelized Onions.
Tip: When you get home from the market or the grocery store, I encourage you to wash and store the leafy greens right away. By wrapping them in damp paper towel, they will last longer and you’ll be more inclined to use them since they will be ready to go when you are ready to use them.
To create this traditional Lebanese appetizer, greens are quickly steamed until vibrant and slightly wilted.
Which leafy greens can be cooked?
We typically use spinach but you could use any leafy greens including Swiss chard, dandelion greens, kale, etc. Once the greens are cooked, you drizzle them with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper before covering the entire platter with sweet, succulent, caramelized onions.
My family serves the garlicky greens chilled but they are just as good warm or room temperature. Tear off a piece of your favorite pita bread and let the party begin.
No forks required.
Garlicky Greens with Caramelized Onions (Hindbeh)
- 3 tablespoons oil (canola or olive work)
- 2 large onions (peeled & thinly sliced)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 pounds fresh chopped greens (can be spinach, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, etc.)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (grated)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- pita bread to serve
Preparing caramelized onions:
- Heat oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat.
- Add sliced onions, salt and pepper and stir well.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook onions, stirring frequently, until they turn golden brown and caramelized. Be patient – this may take up to 30 minutes.
- Place a steamer basket inside a large pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring 3 inches of water to boil over high heat.
- Add greens to the pot and steam until bright green and wilted, about 3-4 minutes, careful not to over-cook. If the greens turn brown that means they're overcooked.
- Remove greens from pan and let cool in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper; set aside.
- Before adding the lemon vinaigrette to the greens, use a kitchen towel or paper towel to remove any excess liquid that may have formed.
- Drizzle lemon vinaigrette over the greens and toss well to combine. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Spread greens out in a thin layer on a large platter.
- Top greens with caramelized onions and serve with pita bread warm, room temperature or chilled.