Let me introduce Beth from Dirty Kitchen Secrets! I met her last year at the first European Food Blogger Connect which she also happened to organise. Half American and half Lebanese, her passion for good food is relentless and I’ve dubbed her the Lebanese cuisine expert here on Greedy Gourmet. Hopefully more recipes will follow but for now enjoy the first one – Fattoush Salad!
First, I want to begin by thanking the lovely Michelle for asking me to guest post on this wonderful blog. I am very honored and I hope you all enjoy what I’ve chosen. For this guest post, I decided to go with something light, summery and of course, Lebanese. I chose one of the traditional Lebanese salads, Fattoush.
The name fattoush is derived from the word “fatteh” or “crumbs.” Fatteh or Fattat (p) refers to a wide variety of dishes that use toasted or fried, stale Arabic bread as a base and then the dish is built upon by adding various other ingredients. Unlike the infamous tabouleh salad, which requires all the ingredients to be finely diced, fattoush salad is rustic and allows for more liberal chunkiness.
The ingredients that make up a fattoush salad will depend on region, season, household and just plain preference. However, the fundamental ingredients are lettuce, purslane, radish, tomato, cucumber, onion, sumac, mint, and toasted or fried Arabic bread. The salad is then tossed in a basic yet most refreshing dressing which is a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. Shhh! Secret! I can never resist adding a drizzle of pomegranate syrup to the dressing to give it more depth and an extra layer of flavor.
Sumac is a key ingredient in this salad and really takes the whole experience to an entirely new explosive level. Sumac is a tangy, deep red or burgundy spice derived from the dried berries of the non-poisonous sumac bush. It is used along with lemon or in place of lemon to add a tart, lemony taste to salads, meats, fried eggs, dips as well as added to other spices like in Zaa’tar. You can find Sumac in Middle-Eastern specialty stores or Whole Food Stores and I’ve been told Waitrose can sometimes carry it.
If you’ve never had a fattoush salad in its purest form then you are truly missing out on one of the world’s culinary treasures.
P.S. Other optional ingredients I’ve seen served in this salad in Lebanon are red pepper, green pepper & pomegranate seeds. I have come across several recipes that call for feta but I have never seen this in actuality and I don’t believe this is at all common in Lebanon. That said, I don’t think it makes a bad combination. Living in the U.K, l use fresh rocket in place of purslane since I’ve never managed to find it here.
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- 1 head of Romain lettuce, shredded
- handful of purslane or rocket
- 6-7 mint leaves, torn
- 3 medium tomatoes, quartered and then halved again
- 100g (3 oz) cucumber, medium chopped
- 100g (3 oz) radishes, medium chopped
- 1-2 large spring onions, medium chopped
- 1 tablespoon of Sumac
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) pomegranate molasses
- 45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
- juice of half of lemon, more or less to taste
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 loaf of Arabic bread toasted in the oven for about 5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
- In a large bowl add the prepared items; lettuce, rocket or purslane, mint leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, spring onions and sprinkle with the sumac, salt & pepper.
- Mix the dressing together: the pomegranate molasses, olive oil and lemon juice.
- Add the dressing to the bowl of ingredients and toss well.
- Using your hands, smash up the toasted Arabic bread over the bowl, into bite sized pieces. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 172
- Sugar: 5.3 g
- Sodium: 377 mg
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 31.9 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 5.2 g