In general, I mix it up in the kitchen quite a bit. There are some recipes that get repeated and general concepts that get made time and time again with variations of spices and herbs, but mostly I do like to try new recipes often. Some nights, though, when my brain is tired and my sense of culinary adventure is faint, I just need a recipe that I can count on. On those nights I need a recipe that I know how to make without much thought, that flows from me with ease and that I have no doubt will be tasty and satisfying.
This is one of those recipes. It’s my ‘go-to’ fattoush. Fattoush is a Middle Eastern bread salad that is as versatile as it is delicious. The recipe below is my own at this point. It’s a recipe that originated somewhere, though I don’t recall where, and has undergone tweaks and alterations until it has become the recipe that I love. My knowledge of traditional Middle Eastern food is not so vast that I can claim to know whether this version of the recipe is very authentic or not, but I can vouch for the fact that is an enticing mix of fresh ingredients that come together to create a wonderful dish.
As I mentioned above, another great thing about this dish is that it is incredibly versatile. I have served it as a main course and as a side dish. Straight from a bowl or stuffed into a pita. Drizzled with garlic sauce or on top of hummus. Topped with falafel or chicken-less strips (I especially like the ones made by both Trader Joe’s and Quorn). Whether you decide to eat it simple and straightforward or you try mixing it up a bit, I hope you’ll give this a try if you like Middle-Eastern flavors. It’s been a no-fail dinner in my household many times over.
- 1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 1-2 pita bread(s)
- 2 large hearts of romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped into chunks
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tblspns sumac powder
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tspn salt
- 1/4 tspn black pepper
- Tear or cut pita bread into bite-sized pieces and bake in a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes. When done, set aside.
- In a large bowl, layer the lettuce, onions, cucumber, and tomatoes. Sprinkle the toasted pita pieces on top.
- In a small bowl, combine the parsley, mint, garlic, sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir or whisk vigorously.
- When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the vegetables and pita and toss well to coat.
** Sometimes an extra squeeze of lemon is nice, so a few lemon wedges for serving may be a nice addition.