In our home there are many Lebanese dishes made. My grandparents immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1800's and early 1900's. With them came the language, customs, foods, traditions, and LOVE that I was blessed to receive. Anytime I cook...ALWAYS...the (adult) kids find their way home (I think they can smell it from their homes)and they do a test drive through the kitchen. We taste with our fingers (WASHED) and with Syrian bread. This dish was created with that memory/style and with that love. Please enjoy and SAHTEIN (Sa ack tain) ..which is like saying bonappetit! but in Arabic.
Press garlic and place in a small bowl.
Add alum,Italian seasoning (these are herbs),add 1 tablespoon of Miracle Whip. Follow this with all the dry ingredients.
Drain can of fire roasted tomatoes (diced); you will discard the juice, leave the tomatoes in the strainer- I drain mine over a 2 cup measuring cup, this allows me to gather tomatoes by hand and place them where I want to. I cook by sight and taste like my Sitto (Grandmother) had taught me. She escaped the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900's. She was my hero.
Take a fork and when the tomatoes are in the dish bowl for mixing into the other ingredients smash them while mixing. Add the Olive Oil a little at a time, depending on how runny you want the dressing continue to add more. This rule holds true for the Miracle Whip as well as the sugar.
Boil your favorite pasta, cut up chicken (I prefer the breast meat) or open a large can of chicken,*if using canned chicken drain and wash with cold water*, slice up onions, celery place all in a large bowl to mix. Add left over tomato, slice hard boiled eggs and add if you like.
Take a large kitchen spoon from your drawer and pour over all of the salad then mix. I mix with my hands, this allows me to feel that I have gotten most of the items mixed and this also allows the eggs and chicken to stay in tact, somewhat. (Licking your fingers afterward is a chef's bonus reward ;0) Continue to add a little at a time with the dressing until you get the amount you like.
You are now ready to enjoy a guilt free salad at anytime. "SAHTEIN"!