— CNP

Fattoush

This is a favourite lunch during summer. The recipe gets tweaked every time depending on what’s in the fridge and, therefore, doesn’t always resemble a traditional fattoush. Indeed, on one key point I always fiddle with the Lebanese standard — the bread. Fattoush is traditionally served with toasted pita bread (khoubz) in the salad but because we tend to eat this salad by itself for lunch, with no other accompaniments, we tend to crave a bit of leavened bread in there, hence the Turkish pide. (note: if you are going to use khoubz, tear the bread apart, separating the two ‘sides’ and rub with olive oil and sumac before toasting in the oven). If you’re looking for a more authentic recipe, check out Tess Mallos’ seminal Middle East Cookbook, but this one’s a rough approximation and uses pretty standard buy-it-for-other-things groceries. Fiddle with the ingredients and the quantities as much as you like…

Serves 2

1 clove of Australian garlic
half teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lemon
60ml extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

4 ripe tomatoes
1 Lebanese cucumber
half a red capsicum
half a red onion (or half a cup spring onion)
a few leaves of cos lettuce (optional)
half a cup parsley leaves
half a cup mint leaves
half a large Turkish pide

Make the dressing first. Crush the garlic into a measuring cup or jar and add the salt. Stir together into a paste and then add the lemon juice, oil and pepper. Stir to emulsify.

Chop tomatoes, cucumber and capsicum into chunks. Roughly shred the lettuce and finely chop the onion. Cut the pide open horizontally and place under the grill until lightly browned. Cut the toasted bread into bite-sized chunks. Finely chop the parsley and mint and toss all the above with the dressing in a large bowl.

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