Prepare to thank me because this Fattoush recipe is such a gift! If you’re someone who is either maintaining a healthy diet or anxiously trying it adhere to one, then this is something you need in your life. It is incredibly healthy, low in fat and so flavoursome. This is mostly due to the super-tangy dressing, with loads of lemon juice, and generous amount of salt and sumac – a middle eastern spice that, I’m assuming, got it’s name because it will sumac you in the face with it’s pungent, citrusy flavour. The vegetables you add, I feel, are mostly for crunch though the sweetness of the peppers is really enhanced by the bitter, salty dressing. You genuinely will be amazed when you bite into one! If you’re among the percentage of people who finds cucumber strong and gross tasting, then just leave it out. Loads more flavour is brought by the different herbs, the onions and garlic, all raw, all pungent and so healthy.
What defines a fattoush is the bread, as it is a bread salad. Saj is traditional but not readily available in shops. I did do the research into how it is made but decided to go easy on myself and use toasted pittas that I ran through the toaster twice. You don’t want them burnt but they should be good and crispy, giving more texture. Once the salad has been tossed together, the bread will absorb the dressing and juices from the salad ingredients and become intensely flavoured.
- 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 3 tomatoes, cut into eighths
- 1 small bunch of oregano (or purslane), leaves removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 handful of radishes, stalks removed and sliced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 4 spring onions sliced, roots and dark leaves discarded
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce, torn up
- 1 good handful of round lettuce leaves, chopped roughly
- 1 small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 small handful of mint, chopped
- about 200g of pita or any Arabic flatbread, toasted
- juice from 2 large lemons
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 tsp sumac
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- Chop and combine all the salad ingredients, except the bread, and set aside in a large bowl until just before serving.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a large salad serving bowl. Whisk together and set aside until just before serving.
- Toast the breads until hard and set aside until just before serving.
- Just before serving, whisk the dressing again, pile in the bowl of salad ingredients, break up the toasted bread and add it to the salad.
- Toss everything together until everything is slicked in the dressing. Toss it together with your hands, squeezing handfuls of the salad together a little to mix the juices with the dressing.