Blogs & News


A WELCOMING Taste of Home

Eleanor Dewar

As I sit here on a sunny day thinking about all the wonderful things SWR have done and continue to do, I find myself thinking of the appropriate starting point for this News and Blog section. Should I look toward the hard hitting side of our work or something current about Lockdown? Then my husband asked me whether I wanted lunch and that was when it hit me - food.

Food is a language of love and sharing. Food brings us together from quick cups of coffee to celebrations and special events. We all have that one food that makes us feel safe or brings back childhood memories. Indeed one of the first memories I have of SWR is at a meeting where someone had brought home-made hummus and I would have happily eaten the entire tray, it was so delicious.

Food has formed a base for one of our fundraising projects as well, in conjunction with Sevenoaks School, the refugee families have developed a cookbook of Syrian food, A Taste of Home in more ways than one. Details of the cookbook can be found here. For starting this News and Blog section we want to welcome you to the SWR family and what better way to say “Hello” than with a recipe. So from our cookbook here is our offering to you:



  • 2 pitta breads, khobez or any flatbread
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium cucumbers, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium lettuce (any type), roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 6 medium radishes, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch purslane, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sumac (this can be generous)

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine or cider vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt, to taste

What to do

1. Brush the bread with a little olive oil and toast on both sides in a hot oven for 10 -12 minutes, or until well browned. Rip into pieces.

2. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onion, radishes, mint, parsley and purslane to a large serving bowl. Toss to combine.

3. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and salt.

4. Add half of the toasted bread to the vegetable salad and toss to combine.

5. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

6. Scatter the remaining toasted bread pieces over the salad and sprinkle with sumac.

We hope you will enjoy this delicious salad and that you will buy our fundraiser Syrian cookbook ‘A Taste of Home: Recipes from Syria in our new home Sevenoaks’. It contains 27 delicious, authentic recipes from Syria. The recipes are traditional home-cooking meals from the refugee families who have produced the book together with pupils and teachers from Sevenoaks School. Other popular dishes include the Tabbouleh salad, Kibbeh meatballs and Maqluba (chicken and aubergine). Details including how to buy the cookbook are here.