About this project
When I think of fattoush salad, it’s always because I’m suddenly craving it, in a climbing-the walls kind of way. Once eating it, I can’t stop – it’s so refreshing, pleasing and clean – and although it’s very enjoyable without any accompaniment, I usually serve it alongside some simply chargrilled lamb chops or chicken livers. The right amount of salt is vital to this salad being a success or disappointment, so add a little more than you normally would.
Sumac, used a lot in Middle Eastern cookery, is a berry that is dried and ground. Although still not widely available in supermarkets in the UK, it is relatively easy to find in Middle Eastern supermarkets and some corner shops. Sumac gives a sour twang similar to hibiscus and, ultimately, lemon. Make the salad with lemon juice if need be, whilst remembering that sumac has its own particular taste and adds prettiness to the salad, being a deep red-purple in colour.
Traditionally this salad would be made with stale rather than fresh pitta bread. Use whatever you have, although there is more gratification in saving things from the bin. Make this salad and serve it straight away.
Like proud sheikhs, once dressed, fattoush does not respond well to being made to wait.
What to Eat Next by Valentine Warner
Published by Mitchell Beazley
Some of the best food takes literally only minutes to prepare, and if you have good ingredients, a good recipe and some kitchen know-how the results will be great. The 150 recipes in this book are naturally simple. There is no corner-cutting - just straightforward good cooking. Many of the dishes can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. Others are dishes that, while quick to make, require a slow cook in the oven. Think Pork with Creamy Cider Sauce, Smoked Trout Fish Cakes and Penne Puttanesca - or, for when you have time to leave something in the oven to cook, Cheese, Leek and Potato Pie and Dorset Hot Pot.© 2018 Valentine Warner / Mitchell Beazley · Reproduced with permission.
- 2 Pitta Bread s, stale or fresh, halved lengthways, then cut into 2cm ribbons widthways
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 big grabbing handfuls of pea tops, or 2 baby gem Lettuces , shredded
- 2 Good ripe medium Tomatoes , roughly chopped, or 16 good cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 Radishes , very thinly sliced
- 2 Medium Carrots , very finely sliced or cut into matchsticks
- ½ Medium Red Onion , halved again, then very finely sliced
- ½ large Cucumber , peeled and diced a little smaller than sugar lumps
In a small frying pan, gently sauté the pitta pieces in 1 tablespoon of the oil over a medium heat for around 4–5 minutes, turning once, until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and leave to cool.
In a bowl combine all the salad, vegetables and herbs. Add the cooled pitta pieces.
Dress with the lemon juice, the remaining oil, some sea salt and chilli, then sprinkle with the sumac.
Serve immediately, alone or with some chargrilled lamb seasoned with a little cumin and sea salt.