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Fresh food home-delivered in Dubai and a Moroccan salad

November 14, 2010

Moroccan green pepper and preserved lemon salad

When a good friend moved into an apartment recently, she bemoaned the difficulty of doing a supermarket shop for a family of five and getting it from her car, via the lift, into her home.  As a shoulder to cry on I can listen quite well, but feel of much more use if I can offer some kind of tangible help.  I bombarded the poor girl with a list of home delivery options but this was also a catalyst to order from one of them myself.

I’d met the people from Salata at the Souk al Bahar market and they were very enthusiastic about their fresh-looking products.  The fruit and vegetables are not organic but they are locally grown or imported from some trusted partners.  They use a hydroponics system, a soil-less growing method, which means they use a minimum of chemicals and farm in a very sustainable way.  With the sad closure of the Nazwa organic farm shop in the summer I had been meaning to try them out as a way of getting fresher local fruit and veg.


Salata Dubai lucky fruit and veg box

Some of the contents of my first lucky box from Salata

You place an order with Salata online by 10am on a Monday and it is delivered on Thursday.  I browsed through the website but couldn’t make decisions about what I needed for the next week so plumped for a ‘lucky box’ for 100 AED (about 27 USD or 17 pounds sterling).  I couldn’t believe the amount in the box when it arrived; it included potatoes and peppers, fresh salad and herbs, courgettes and cucumbers and more.  As a keen cook all I could see were endless possibilities for the week.

I’ve had the boxes delivered for a few weeks now and like the surprise element.  The salad in particular is very fresh.  You also have the option to order exactly what you want from their online list (which I did this week as the last box I received had enough lettuce to feed us for a month!).

Having to cook from the box has had me searching out a variety of new recipes and when green peppers arrived I thought of this Moroccan salad.  As a lemon-freak I love the astringency of the flavours; it makes me feel like I’m getting all my vitamins for the week in one dish.   The recipe is below; let me know what you think.

For Dubai-dwellers, the other home-delivery options I thought of are here (I have only tried Salata and Bebida so would really appreciate comments if you’ve used the other services):

Moroccan green pepper salad

Salata – Locally grown fresh vegetables (and some imported fruit) ordered online and delivered on a Thursday.
Swiss Cottage – Freshly baked European-style breads delivered daily in time for breakfast.
Bebida – Home delivery of groceries (from cereal and juices to coffee and noodles).
Earlybird – Another home-delivery option for groceries.
Organic Foods and Cafe – Will home delivery free if you spend over 500 AED otherwise a 50 AED charge.
Barakat – You can order juice from their Jumeirah Beach Road shop and they’ll home deliver for a minimum order of 50 AED. The map and contact details are on

Let me know if you hear of any more.

Moroccan green pepper and preserved lemon salad

Adapted from Sophie Grigson’s Sunshine Food

Serves 4


3 green peppers (capsicum)
3 ripe, well-flavoured tomatoes
1/2 a preserved lemon
3 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaved parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grill the peppers on a gas flame or under a very hot grill until the skins blacken. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and seeds and cut into strips.  Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze them gently to remove the seeds, then finely dice.  Discard the pulp  from the preserved lemon and dice finely.  Mix all the ingredients together, season to taste.  Served lightly chilled or at room temperature (having drained off any excess dressing).

This goes really well with grilled fish especially oily ones like mackerel or sardines.

  1. Anna permalink
    November 14, 2010 8:00 pm

    I must try this as it sounds really simple – my fave kind of recipies. I think it will go well with the spinach, yoghourt and garlic dish I’ve been making recently – idea pinched from the local Cypriat restaurant. This would all go with some oven baked lamb chops, and some rice with toasted pine nuts. Preserved lemons are getting more popular now. I bet I could even get them in Asda!

  2. November 14, 2010 8:44 pm

    I’ll post the recipe for preserved lemons soon. It’s great to have a jar in the fridge.

  3. November 14, 2010 11:22 pm

    I’m waiting for the preserved lemons recipe with a great interest! Although a little bit embarrassed, I’ll ask – how are preserved lemons supposed to be eaten? Just the peel, or the insides too? Never have tried them before.
    In the summer we are eating often a salad similar to this but we are adding grilled red pepper too and instead of preserved lmons there is sumac.

    • November 15, 2010 9:33 am

      Don’t be – I know I ate the whole thing the first time I made them as there were no instructions not to! They are preserved in salt, lemon juice and sealed with a layer of oil. You discard the flesh (which comes away easily) and just eat the peel. The taste is very different and rather addictive!

      • November 15, 2010 11:27 am

        Thank you, Sally! I’m even more thrilled to try them now.

  4. November 14, 2010 11:47 pm

    That’s a lot of fruit and veg for $$27! And your preserved lemons look lovely – I made a batch of preserved limes this year, and they add such a wonderful zing to dishes!

  5. November 15, 2010 8:45 am

    What fabulous looking produce. I think I would go seriously overboard it I had the option of ordering home delivered goods!
    🙂 Mandy

  6. November 17, 2010 12:45 am

    i really love how pretty this salad looks:) i know my mom would love this. thanks for sharing.

  7. November 17, 2010 3:21 pm

    Your salad looks delicious! I love fresh food and there is nothing better then combining all the flavors in a scrumptious salad.

  8. November 18, 2010 12:00 pm

    This looks lovely, I will try this one but will plut beef in it and wrap it in a pita bread. Thanks for sharing that lovely salad


  9. November 29, 2010 5:37 am

    I’m glad to hear that there are good food delivery options. My biggest concern is often the quality, I also like the tactile experience of choosing produce. The shipment you received looks beautiful. You’d probably hate to experience grocery shopping in New York. I spent 20 minutes in line today trying to check out – no exaggeration. People get pretty grumpy and sometimes verbal fights break out, especially as you get closer to the register. Are there farmer’s or outdoor markets in Dubai that you enjoy visiting? There’s a great one in New York, unfortunately the organic selection can be limited. The best market for organics is in San Francisco – I hope you have a chance to visit it someday.

    • November 29, 2010 7:13 am

      Hi Christine, The markets are limited and the bulk of our choices are still imported and far from ideal (far too many food miles) but when it comes to the checkout we are spoilt. I often have someone unpacking my trolley at one side and packing my bags at the other ready for taking to the car – a service that’s really welcome in the scorching and humid summer months. I would LOVE to visit San Fransisco especially for the food scene.

  10. sandpitdiaries permalink
    February 24, 2011 1:32 pm

    already placed my order. Awesome.

  11. Carol permalink
    May 22, 2011 7:08 pm

    hi, i tried to order online from salata but they have stopped delivering, does anyone know why??
    i badly need another option,
    let me know if any of you hear of one, thanks

    • May 22, 2011 7:22 pm

      I didn’t know this Carol – thanks for letting me know. See my post on the new Bumble Box delivery scheme.

  12. March 9, 2012 6:16 pm

    That Moroccan salad looks divine, delicious and refreshing! Will definitely have to try is for lunch sometime soon… thanks for the share!


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