Fattoush – Salad Of The Levant
The coming summer months beg for crisp and watery. Salads built with the freshest of farmer’s market greens and vegetables, lemons and limes providing both tartness and ‘parfum’ and herbs that command a heightened respect, why wouldn’t our cravings go back to ‘basics’?
When ingredients are this good, I like to turn to my favorite salad, Fattoush, a salad served in large platters and eaten by families in the Levant region of Syria and Lebanon. Fattoush is an honest salad that is not masked by a thick dressing and overpowering flavors. She does, however, impose one rule: ingredients must hold imminence. Fresh sprigs of parsley, cilantro and mint with cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions and radishes are tossed together in an olive oil and lemon juice dressing with one mystery ingredient – so keep reading.
Fattoush is similar to panzanella. It is made from stale pita in the way that panzanella is made from stale rustic bread which is moistened by the dressing and tomatoes. The pita is dried out in the oven with a dash of dried and ground sumac berries adding another burst of sourness and a light tannic flavor. This salad is served as part of a bigger meal, but for me, this is a perfect standalone dish. To enjoy this as an entrée, throw on some lightly season grilled fish or halloumi.
I love this salad and this recipe works like a charm, however, for the most photogenic salad I have seen yet, I have used pictures from: My New Roots. My New Roots is a beautiful blog by holistic nutritionist and vegetarian chef: Sarah Britton.
1 tsp Sumac
2 slices of pita
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 lemons, juiced and zested
Salt and pepper
½ head Romaine lettuce
1 cup of radish, sliced into match sticks
2 Israeli cucumbers
5 scallions, red and white, sliced into thin rounds
1 cup cilantro
1 cup parlsey
½ cup fresh mint
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Brush the pita with olive oil and sprinkle sumac
3) Chop in to pieces and toast until dry and crisp, allow to cool on a wire rack
1) Whisk together all the ingredients and taste for seasoning. Should be stronger than you can handle to dress a large salad.
1) Toss all salad ingredients together with dressing and pita chips, serve promptly.