The Fattoush salad

By Christine Tizzard
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Twist on a classic summertime chopped salad: The Fattoush, A Lebanese style bread salad which uses up stale pita or flatbread as a base for larger chopped vegetables tossed with an herby seasoning. Versatile since all that is required are pita, chopped vegetables, and whatever herbs you have on hand.

Here are a few tips when making your fattoush at home

1. Don’t use pita chips, instead take the time to fry your pita yourself.

2. If you have sumac spice or can buy some, use it.

3. A good quality extra virgin olive oil will make all the difference. 

SERVES
4

Ingredients

  • 1 pita bread
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac, more for later
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 heart of Romaine lettuce, chopped, or other salad green of choice
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 5 radishes, chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves and stems
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, pomegranate seeds

Sumac-lime vinaigrette:

  • Juice of 1/2 a lime, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1 clove garlic, pureed or finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and/or allspice
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, or to taste

Directions

Method:

  1. To fry pita: Heat about one tablespoon olive oil in a large pan. Break the pita bread into pieces, and place in the heated oil. Fry briefly until browned, tossing frequently. Season with salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of sumac. Remove the pita chips from the heat and place on paper towels to drain. To bake: Heat oven to 350°F degrees. Separate pita into two rounds, and bake on baking tray for about five minutes, or until very crisp but not browned.
  2. In a large salad bowl, toss chopped lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, green onions, and radish with chopped parsley and mint.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  4. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss lightly. Add the pita chips, and sprinkle more sumac if you like.

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