Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe with Pistachios

This Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe is light and fresh, and chock full of healthy veggies. The fresh olive oil and vinegar drizzled over the top forms a healthy dressing that goes so well with the crunchy pistachios.

Okay, okay, I realize that I kind of missed the boat on the whole “summer foods” thing this year. I was walking around outside today and realized that the air felt…. Almost like… fall. DUN DUN DUN.

So please, forgive me for not posting this recipe until it’s almost too late to enjoy it. But in these last few days of summer, make the most of the warm weather. Head to the store (or your garden if you’re REALLY cool) and grab the ingredients to throw together this 5 minute Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe.

Pistachios for Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe

What Ingredients are In This Recipe?

Cucumbers
Green pepper
Green olives
Pistachios
Parsley
Mint leaves
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt 
Black pepper 
Paprika

How to Make this Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe

Cut the cucumbers and green peppers into thin strips. 

Combine cucumbers and pepper slices in a bowl with green olives, parsley, mint, and pistachios.

Toss with olive oil and vinegar (almost equal parts, but a little more olive oil than vinegar), and sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine and enjoy! 

How Do You Prepare Cucumbers for this Salad?

To properly prepare your cucumbers for this salad, start by peeling them with a vegetable peeler. You can leave the skin on your cucumbers if you wish, but I far prefer the salad with no skins.

Next, cut your cucumber in half lengthwise, exposing the interior of the cucumber.

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the center of the cucumber. You can also leave the seeds in the cucumber, but the salad is less watery once these sides (and the flesh surrounding them) are removed.

Then, use a knife to cut strips out of the cucumber halves. Make sure that the strips are thin. You can also cut them in half if they are too long.

How Long Can You Keep this Salad For?

This salad will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days once it has been dressed. The cucumbers are dressed in vinegar, meaning that the longer they sit in the vinegar, the softer they will get.

My best recommendation would be to make the salad, and then only dress what you’re going to eat. This way, you can ensure that the vegetables stay crisp as long as possible.

Because there are pistachios in the salad, you’ll want to keep those from getting soggy as well!

Undressed the salad will last about 5 days. But dressed, it will last only about 2.

Bowl of Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe

How Can I Customize this Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe?

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can toss some green apple in your salad! That would, admittedly, make the recipe less Algerian. But it would make the recipe even more delicious, so you can decide which is more important to you.

This weekend, authenticity was more important to me, so I chose to forgo the green apple.

I did, however, add pistachios, which weren’t in any of the ingredients for this recipe that I had seen. I had a hunch, though, and I sure am glad I acted on it. It’s pretty safe to say that pistachios make everything better.

If you’d like to use a different dressing, you can totally do that! Or if you want to add tomatoes or any other vegetables, you can do that as well.

I love customizing recipes. If you make this recipe to a T or if you customize it, let me know! I want to hear what you think.

Did you like this Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe from Algeria? If so, leave a comment letting me know what you thought. You can also post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork or hashtag #TheForeignFork.

If you like this recipe, don’t forget to check out the other recipes on this website I think you might like!:

Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe

This Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe is light and fresh, and chock full of healthy veggies. The fresh olive oil and vinegar drizzled over the top forms a healthy dressing that goes so well with the crunchy pistachios.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine algeria
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup green olive flesh chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 8 mint leaves (optional) chopped
  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika

Instructions

  1. Peel the cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers and green peppers into thin strips. 

  2. Combine cucumbers and pepper in a bowl with green olives, parsley, mint, and pistachios.

  3. Toss with olive oil and vinegar (almost equal parts, but a little more olive oil than vinegar), and sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

Adding thinly sliced green apples could also be a refreshing and delicious addition to this salad!

Recipe Copyright Alexandria Drzazgowski, The Foreign Fork. For personal or educational use only

El Hamlahlou (Algerian Sweet Lamb): Food Culture is Really just Culture

Algerian Sweet Lamb

This Algerian Sweet Lamb (El Hamlahlou) is a dish eaten during the month of Ramadan. It contains lamb meat, prunes, pears, raisins, and apricots. The dish is flavorful and indulgent, and is a great way to end a long day of fasting from sunup to sundown. 

A Little About Me

So before we get into the more technical part of this dish, I want to tell you a little bit more about myself. I grew up in a Catholic family, that practiced our form of religion every day. 

Algerian Sweet Lamb

I went to Catholic school for 9 years, and spent every morning and evening in a Catholic form of prayer. A good percentage of the people in my community practice Christianity, so I never encountered a lot of religious diversity growing up.

I’ve always found other religions interesting, but to be honest, I just have never gotten around to studying them more. There are so many things in the world to learn, and this one just hasn’t been a topic of study yet!

Food Culture is Really Just Culture

Cooking Algeria gave me a really good reason to start that study. And it led me to realize that The Foreign Fork experience will push me to learn about more than just food culture. Because truthfully, food culture is really just culture.

Food culture is affected by so much, which is why it’s so interesting to me. As you’ll discover in a minute, we don’t always eat what we do solely because of taste. We also choose to eat certain foods based off of season or tradition or economy or religion. Food culture is so interesting because through it, I can learn so much more about the world than just food. And this Algerian Sweet Lamb (El Hamlahlou) is a great place to start!

Table set with Algerian Sweet Lamb

A Lesson in Religion

Given that more than 99% of Algerians are Sunni Muslim, the holiday of Ramadan is an extremely important occasion in the country. Ramadan is a month-long religious worshipping period during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During this time, those practicing Ramadan fast from sunrise to sunset.

This Algerian Sweet Lamb (El Hamlahlou) is a traditional meal eaten during Ramadan. After a long day of fasting, a family will sit down to a table piled high with lamb meat and dried fruits. The lack of salt in the dish staves off thirst during the day, when drink is prohibited. And the dried fruits provide a sugar boost to keep energy up during the following day of fasting.

The Algerian Sweet Lamb (El Hamlahlou) vaguely resembles the Kabuli Pulao dish from Afghanistan. Both contain lamb with dried fruits, but Afghans serve the dish over a bed of rice, while couscous accompanies the Algerian Sweet Lamb.

This dish is sweet and indulgent and definitely a treat to anyone that tries it. And even more than that, it’s so easy! A little simmering, a little sprinkling, and you have a fantastic dinner for the family. Try it, my friends! Immerse yourself in the food of Ramadan, and experience the joy that comes with it.

Algerian Sweet Lamb (El Hamlahlou)

Algerian Sweet Lamb is a traditional dish during the time of Ramadan. It is made from lamb pieces, prunes, pears, raisins, almonds, and sugar. 

Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 lb lamb
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 pitless prunes
  • 1 unripe pear peeled and cut into pipes
  • 2 tbsp large raisins
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange extract

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then add meat to pan. Stir to brown outsides for about 5 minutes. 

  2. Stir in cinnamon, water, and sugar. Cover with a lid and simmer for over low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour. If your lamb is very tough, keep simmering it for longer. In the middle of the cooking process, the muscle fibers can tense up. If you continue to simmer the lamb, they will relax again and become more tender. 

  3. Add prunes, pear, raisins, and almonds. 

  4. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 more minutes. Remove pan from heat. 

  5. Add the orange extract to the water and then stir about 3 Tbsp of it into the dish (alternatively, you can use 2 tbsp of orange blossom water).

  6. Serve at room temperature with couscous.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from The World Cookbook for Students by Jeanne Jacob and Michael Ashkenazi

Chickpea Stew Recipe from Algeria

Algerian Chickpea Stew

The Chickpea Stew Recipe (also called Hummus bi’l-Kammun in Algeria) was so darn easy to make! The entire process of cooking the soup takes about 20 minutes of your time and very little effort to throw together. Topping the soup with shredded mint leaves provides a fresh aftertaste that complements the harissa sauce beautifully!

I’m still new to my journey of cooking one meal from every country in the world, and I am so excited to be making a soup today!! (Edit: I’ve now cooked so many delicious soups from around the world, which can be found here).

It’s been a while since I’ve made soup, and I can still smell this chickpea stew on the stovetop as I’m writing this. It made for one happy blogger today!

This stew is so quick and easy to put together, and it tastes fantastic! As cold weather gets closer, I can only imagine that I’ll be having this soup simmering on the stove often.

The step that takes the longest with this recipe is shelling the chickpeas. It’s an easy task, but taking the shelling off of three cans of chickpeas is, I admit, time consuming.

The good thing is, though, that I sat down at my kitchen table and did this while I was watching a movie (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society if I’m being exact) on Netflix I highly recommended this combination of activities for 20 minutes of destressing, if I do say so myself.

What is Chickpea Stew?

You may have seen chickpea stew made in many different ways before. For example, Allison Roman has a pretty popular recipe for chickpea stew out there in the universe.

This version of chickpea stew, also called Hummu bi’l-Kammun, originated in Algeria. It’s made by taking fresh chickpeas and blending them into a paste.

This paste is then combined with liquid to thicken into a beautiful, smooth soup. You can then top your soup with fresh mint leaves or a drizzle of olive oil and it is pure perfection!

The best part about this recipe is that it comes together so easily, and takes very little skill (kind of like my Split Pea Soup in an Instant Pot recipe!) Simply blend and simmer. 20 minutes later, you look like a spectacular chef.

What Ingredients are in Chickpea Stew?

Canned chickpeas
Olive oil
Garlic
Cumin
Paprika
Harissa
Tomato Paste
Water
Mint Leaves
Salt and Pepper

Spices simmering for Chickpea Stew

How to Make this Recipe

Open the chickpea cans and drain.

Squeeze each chickpea lightly to remove the casing from each bean and discard the skins. Put aside 1/2 of these shelled chickpeas.

Put the shelled chickpeas (except for the reserved 1/2 cup) in a blender and blend them. They will turn out crumbly and appear a little dry. 

Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté garlic in the oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Then add cumin, paprika, harissa (if desired), tomato paste, salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes. 

Add the four cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil. 

Add the pureed chickpeas from the blender into the boiling water and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the soup is hot.

Pour the rest of the reserved, whole chickpeas into the soup and sprinkle with fresh mint. 

Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!

How Long Does Chickpea Stew Last?

Cooked chickpeas can generally last for about 5 days in the fridge. That’s about how long I would recommend keeping this soup around for.

As long as your soup is in an airtight container in the fridge, it should last for 5 or so days.

If you want to freeze your soup, you are welcome to do so (frozen soup is the best!!). The best option for doing this is to, again, put your soup in an airtight container. You can store the soup in the fridge for up to 6 months.

When you want to eat your soup, make sure to take it out of the fridge about 12 hours before you want to eat it to allow ample time to thaw.

Are Chickpeas and Garbanzo Beans the Same Thing?

This is a great question, and something that I had wondered for almost all of my life.

Yes, chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing! Generically speaking, the legume is often called garbanzo beans in latin cooking, and chickpeas in Middle Eastern cooking.

Whatever you call it, the legume is the same. Whether your can says garbanzo beans or chickpeas, you can use it to make this recipe!

With each new country comes new delicious discoveries and new recipes I’m adding to my rotation of regular meals. Make sure to try this Algerian Chickpea Stew, because I have a feeling you might feel the same way.  

Thanks so much for reading this post! If you liked this recipe, you might also like these other recipes I picked out just for you!

Algerian Chickpea Stew
4 from 1 vote
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Chickpea Stew

This Chickpea stew comes together in 20 minutes! It's made from pureed chickpeas and is delicious when topped with fresh mint.

Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine algeria
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 15 oz cans chickpeas drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds freshly ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp harissa optional
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Open the chickpea cans and drain.
  2. Squeeze each chickpea lightly to remove the casing from each bean and discard the skins. Put aside 1/2 of these shelled chickpeas.
  3. Put the shelled chickpeas (except for the reserved 1/2 cup) in a blender and blend them. They will turn out crumbly and appear a little dry.
  4. Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté garlic in the oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Then add cumin, paprika, harissa (if desired), tomato paste, salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the four cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the pureed chickpeas from the blender into the boiling water and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the soup is hot.

  7. Pour the rest of the reserved, whole chickpeas into the soup and sprinkle with fresh mint. 

  8. Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Shortbread Cookies with Jam (Sables) from Algeria

Close up of Algerian cookies

Sables, or Shortbread Cookies with Jam, are a delicious cookie sandwich usually topped with powdered sugar and filled with some type of jam. These shortbread cookies are delicious in all contexts, whether it’s to taste the culture of Algeria or simply to impress at your next Christmas party.

When I knew I was going to bake this recipe, I wanted to make sure that my cookies looked beautiful for the photographs that you all were going to see! So I took a trip to Kroger’s “baking needs” section in search of some elegant floral cookie cutters.

I looked high and low, but couldn’t find a single cookie cutter in the whole store. After searching for a few minutes, I asked a nearby manager for help. He informed me that cookie cutters are a seasonal item and therefore wouldn’t be out on the shelves until about Halloween.

Cookie cut outs

What is a Good Replacement for a Cookie Cutter?

Finally, my mother, the savior of every problem I’ve had with The Foreign Fork, found the perfect object.

We had a glass in my home with a mouth the perfect size for this cookie! I rolled out the dough and used the glass to cut out circles of the perfect size and shape.

If you don’t have a class the correct size, you can also use a can! Cans come in all shapes and sizes, and when you open them up, the mouths tend to be sharp. This is perfect for cutting through cookie dough, and making the perfect shapes for these Shortbread Cookies with Jam.

What Ingredients are In this Recipe for Shortbread Cookies with Jam

Butter
Granulated sugar
Egg
All purpose flour
Baking powder
Vanilla extract
Raspberry jam (or preserve of your choice)
Powdered sugar

How to Make this Recipe for Shortbread Cookies with Jam

Preheat oven to 350°F

Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. 

Beat in the egg & vanilla. Then use a wooden spoon to mix in the flour and baking powder.

The dough will turn out looking like dry sand at first. Use your hands to knead the dough until it sticks together in one brick. 

Flour a slick surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Use two different cookie cutters to cut out the top and bottom cookies from the dough. On the “tops”, use another cookie cutter to cut out a center shape so that you can see the jam through the dough. 

Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and bake the cookies for about 14 minutes. I liked mine to be just turning yellow on the bottom. 

Remove the cookies from the tray. As the tops cool, put powdered sugar in a sifter and sprinkle sugar over the tops of the cookies. 

Put the jam in a pot on the stove and heat until it just begins to boil. 

Once the jam has begun to cool, spread an equal amount on each cookie “bottom”. Place the “top” over the jam, and allow to cook completely before enjoying. 

Shortbread cookies covered in powdered sugar

Are Butter Cookies the Same as Shortbread?

Butter cookies and shortbread cookies are very similar, but they’re not completely the same. Butter cookies have a higher ratio of sugar to butter, meaning that they are easily shaped by cookie cutters!

Shortbread cookies tend to be a bit crumblier and are a bit harder to hold together when shaping. If you’re dough crumbles, you may not have rolled/kneaded it out enough!

Shortbread cookies should also be baked on a low setting in the oven, taking care to maintain their beautiful white color until the end.

I learned this helpful information from muddysbakeshop.com at this helpful blog post!

Shortbread cookies with Jam on a red background

Do You Put Jam on Cookies Before or After Cooking?

When putting your jam on the Shortbread Cookies, it’s important that you don’t add the jam until the cookie is out of the oven and cooled a bit.

Adding the jam to the cookie BEFORE baking will cause the jam to melt, and suddenly, you’ll have a big mess on your hands!

The jam in this recipe is heating up, however, before adding it to the cookies. The reason for this is so that the jam is easily spreadable and doesn’t stick to your cookie in one large clump.

If you’re heating up your jam before putting it on your cookie (you should), make sure that you heat it up so that the jam is spreadable. Make sure, though, to not allow the jam to burn! Also don’t let it become so liquidy that the jam slides all over the place when you put the cookie “top” in place.

Can I Use Jelly Instead of Jam?

This is a good question, and first, I think it’s important to establish the difference between jelly and jam.

Jelly is made without any “lumps” or “chunks”. When making jelly, only pure fruit juice is used, which means that the jelly is doesn’t have any fruit chunks in it. It has a more solid texture than its jam counterpart.

Jam, on the other hand, has pieces of crushed fruit mixed in. The crushed fruit loosens up the texture a bit, so the jam tends to be a little more easily spreadable.

So, if you want to substitute one for the other, you can! Just make sure to heat up your jelly enough that it can be spread onto the cookie easily! Also expect a slightly different texture in this variation.

shortbread cookies with jam and raspberries

Why Is My Dough Crumbly?

I had the same worry. The day I made these Shortbread Cookies with Jam for the first time, I almost gave up on them. The dough was so crumbly, I wasn’t sure it was ever going to turn into cookie dough!

Turns out, this is exactly how the dough is supposed to be. Sable (the Algerian name for these cookies) means “sand” in French. Initially, this dough appears so crumbly that it looks like dry sand! As you knead it, it comes together to look more like wet sand and easily forms into a dough.

These cookies are a great way to taste the flavors of Algeria! However, they would also be great just to share at a party or a Christmas cookie exchange. And the best part is that if you decide to make them as Christmas cookies, you’ll be able to find a seasonal cookie cutter to make them even more beautiful.

Did you like this recipe for Shortbread Cookies with Jam (Sables) from Algeria? If so, leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought! You can also post a photo on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork or tag @TheForeignFork.

If you liked this recipe, make sure to also check out these other recipes on The Foreign Fork that I picked out just for you!:

Algerian Sable Cookies (Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry Jam)

These Algerian cookies are a delicious sandwich of shortbread cookies filled with raspberry jam and topped with powdered sugar. 

Course Cookies, Dessert
Servings 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam or preserve of your choice
  • 1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F

  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. 

  3. Beat in the egg & vanilla. Then use a wooden spoon to mix in the flour and baking powder.

  4. The dough will turn out looking like dry sand at first. Use your hands to knead the dough until it sticks together in one brick. 

  5. Flour a slick surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Use two different cookie cutters to cut out the top and bottom cookies from the dough. On the “tops”, use another cookie cutter to cut out a center shape so that you can see the jam through the dough. 

  6. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and bake the cookies for about 14 minutes. I liked mine to be just turning yellow on the bottom. 

  7. Remove the cookies from the tray. As the tops cool, put powdered sugar in a sifter and sprinkle sugar over the tops of the cookies. 

  8. Put the jam in a pot on the stove and heat until it just begins to boil. 

  9. Once the jam has begun to cool, spread an equal amount on each cookie “bottom”. Place the “top” over the jam, and allow to cook completely before enjoying. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe taken from Genius Kitchen