Intro

It’s time for me to rediscover my love of salad. It is definitely not a hard relationship to rekindle but I’ve somehow lost sight of it’s flare as I’ve been distracted by cocktails, making homemade sausage, cheese-laden pastas and hearty roasts. But this week Gabe went ahead and said it, “We need to eat healthier.” Gah. Of course he was totally right but I wasn’t ready to admit it publicly.

Our eating habits go through fits and spurts with some seasons having more green on our plates but then there are the weeks of traveling, busy schedules and exhaustion that keep us from wiping the dust off the juicer or reaching into the crisper where the vegetables have since withered and died. The unhealthy streak putters on until one of us cries uncle and declares a change. And that’s when I rediscover salad and fall madly in love with it’s creativity, color and diversity again.

This time I’m starting with Fattoush. Mostly because I love to say the word, “Fattoush” but also because we’ve been on the sort of Mediterranean kick where mint, lemon and greek yogurt are key players. Fattoush is essentially a chopped salad with endless variations. It’s the sort of salad where I imagine every grandma in Arabic countries has their own recipe and deems it, “the best”.

Now I have my own version which is based off of the one found in the book, Jerusalem. I reach for this book often when I’m looking to get out of a certain cooking rut and enter into a world of foreign spices, creative recipes and gorgeous images of countries I long to visit. The Fattoush instantly caught my eye as I stared at the vibrant ingredients and it had those three ingredients – lemon, mint and greek yogurt – that I just can’t resist.

Essentially Fattoush is a bread salad. Stale or crisped naan (or pita) is mixed with a variety of chopped vegetables, handfuls of herbs and a light dressing of yogurt, lemon juice, a bit of oil and sumac. Sumac is the ground fruit of a Sumac tree. It’s tart and almost lemon-like in flavor with a stunning reddish purple hue. You can find it online or at spice shops. If you simply can’t find it you can use more lemon juice and a bit of zest in its place although I do recommend you seek it out.

This is the sort of salad that makes eating healthy seem incredibly easy and exciting. The bright bite of the herbs excite in a way that heavy foods just can’t and yet you feel sort of indulgent as the yogurt creates a rich and creamy dressing. It’s the perfect salad to lead us back into healthier eating, that is, until I decide to make another batch of cookies. As Julia Child says, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

 

 

 

*I realize last week I teased you with bacon and now you come here and I’m talking about salad?! I’m terrible. But I promise, bacon is coming. Eat some salad first in preparation.

 

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Fattoush

serves 6

 

4 cups torn naan or pita

1 cup Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sumac

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped parsley

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1 cup thinly sliced fresh radishes

1 cucumber peeled and chopped

2 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh torn mint

 

In a skillet with a bit of olive oil or in a oven, crisp the pieces of naan or pita until golden and crisp on the outside dried throughout. You could also just use very stale bread.

Mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and sumac in a bowl.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the yogurt dressing finish with more sumac if you’d like.

For a heartier meal serve with grilled chicken, steak or an oily fish.

29 Responses to “Fattoush”

  1. Emily K. @ Leaf Parade

    I finally picked up a copy of Jerusalem last week and can’t wait to start putting together all the beautiful and imaginative foods! Perhaps I’ll start with a fattoush. It looks gorgeous!
    -Emily K.

    Reply
  2. Eileen

    Oh, I haven’t had fattoush in FAR too long. I used to eat it in rolled pita sandwiches with salty white cheese–so good. This looks lovely!

    Reply
  3. Carley (BEANS)

    I bought sumac recently (had never heard of it before!) for the spinach and date salad in Jerusalem. That salad is fabulous, and I’ve been trying to find additional ways to use sumac ever since, as it really is a unique flavor. Thank you for writing about this salad – will give it a go soon!

    Also, I started following your blog recently, and it’s quickly become one of my favorites. I’ve already made the roasted banana whipped cream several times; that stuff still visits me in my dreams. :) Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Kathryn

    Yes to all of this. I can feel myself in one of those ruts right now and using my vacation as an excuse to eat everything I want and more. I can’t wait to get back on the salad-eating wagon and this is an excellent way to do just that.

    Reply
  5. sara

    so lovely. cheers to lots of greens and starting fresh again. It has to ebb and flow doesn’t it? Have yet to try this salad from the book but I love love the sound of the dressing just to have on hand.

    Reply
  6. Yohann

    Mediterranean food is so good. The best part is that it’s practically always healthy and full of taste. I had not heard of fattoush before. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to give it a go!

    Reply
  7. sundiegoeats

    Actually just had fattoush for the first time today (with pita bread, hummus, baba ghanouj, and kibbeh) and absolutely loved it! I really like tabbouleh but I think I like fattoush better because it has more interesting textures. It’s great how middle eastern salads use herbs as salad leaves instead of accents.

    Reply
  8. tracy

    I love to say the word Fattoush as well! This is one of my most favorite salads. It’s that dang Sumac! I can’t get enough of it.

    Reply
  9. sarah

    Lovely photographs. I still don’t have this cookbook – it’s next on the list. And, we are the same – our eating habits ebbing and flowing. Right now we need to get on that salad train. :)

    Reply
  10. thelittleloaf

    Jerusalem is one of my favourite books for thinking outside the box too – so many unusual flavour combinations. I know what you mean about the eb and flow of eating – that Julia Child quote is the best.

    Reply
  11. Tiff

    Love this! Fattoush is amazing & this recipe looks like it’d taste absolutely delicious. Like you, I too can’t get enough of Greek yogurt. I guess that Julia Child quote will not apply to the yogurt…because I can’t moderate that obsession. Hah!

    Reply
  12. Ole@cookingbrains

    I love Fattoush and yours looks just amazing. I got Jerusalem for Christmas and while not every dish in there is exactly to my liking, Fattoush definitely is. I’ll make sure to give yours a try.

    Reply
  13. Julia

    Fattoush and tabbouleh are two of my all-time favorite salads (and I eat a lot of salad!). This version looks delicious…I don’t use yogurt in mine so that’s a nice twist!

    Reply
  14. TheMaz

    I grew up eating various versions of fattoush– and I make my own– but I have never seen it made with yogurt. At least not in Lebanon, where this is a staple dish. The dressing usually contains vinegar or lemon juice, pomegranate syrup and plenty of sumac. Parsley is also king in this salad, alongside lettuce and sometimes purslane if you can find it. The fried bread is what makes it so distinctive, and so delicious and satisfying.

    Reply
  15. Sarah

    Please note this is NOT an Israreli recipe, they can take our land but not our culture and lovely food!

    Peace x

    Reply

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