Bishbash Salad Over Labneh

Nir Messika

30 minutes

Serves 6 as a starter

Bishbash herb and citrus salad in a white and blue bowl
Nir Messika's Bishbash Salad Over Labneh.
Nir Messika’s Bishbash Salad Over Labneh. Photo by Matan Choufan.

Pickled bishbash, better known as fennel, is one of the mezze dishes that chef Nir Messika’s mother Yaffa used to serve at the beginning of a large meal. Nir elevated this traditional salad into a colorful dish for winter celebrating the season’s finest: cured olives, oranges, greens, and fresh sumac.


  • 2 oranges
  • 10 ½ ounces / 300 grams labneh
  • Zest from 3 lemons
  • Salt
  • 3 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced with a mandoline
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Thassos (Moroccan oil-cured) olives
  • ⅓ red onion, julienned (cut into long thin strips)
  • ⅓ cup mint leaves
  • ½ cup garden cress
  • For the dressing:
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sumac
  • Salt
  • White pepper


  1. Peel and segment the oranges over a bowl, reserving the orange juice collected at the bottom for the dressing. Set the orange segments aside. 
  2. Mix the labneh, lemon zest, and salt and spread in a shallow serving bowl (similar to hummus).
  3. Mix the fennel, orange segments, olives, onions and herbs in a bowl. Add the dressing ingredients to the reserved orange juice and mix. Add to the vegetables, mix, and then gently mound over the labneh. Serve immediately.

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