Fatoush Salad

Lebanese Fattouch Salad

One of my all-time favourite foods is the Lebanese Fattoush Salad. Fattoush Salad is tastefully acidic salad made with fresh ingredients, topped with thin fried or toasted (fried is always so much better) pita bread, and showered with Sumac. 

Sumac

Fatoush Salad With Sumac

What is s sumac? Sumac is a tart and acidic tasting spice which grows as a small blood red berry throughout the Mediterranean and Middle-East. The berries are harvested, dried and crushed. 

There are many renditions of this salad. The recipe below is simple basic and absolutely delicious. 

To construct the salad you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce torn in pieces
  • a bunch of purslane or mâche (I’ve added a link in case your not sure what this ingredient is)
  • 3 Lebanese cucumbers (or English-hothouse, or just plain cucumbers)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • a few radishes, sliced
  • Red onions, sliced
  • a handful of chopped Italian parsley and a handful of fresh mint
  • a green pepper, diced (optional)
  • a large loaf of pita bread  or 2 small pita breads
Sumac

Sumac

For the salad dressing you will need:

  • 2 Lemons
  • ½ Cup high quality preferably organic Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 2 large tablespoons of Sumac
  • 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped or crushed in a mortar and pestle with a dash of salt.

Preparing Fattoush salad is a pretty simple affair:

  1. Brush the tops of your pita bread with generous amounts of EV olive oil; topped with a copious serving of Sumac spice
  2. With a large and sharp knife cut your seasoned pita bread into small triangles. Place the pita triangles in a shallow pan and toast at 325F until crispy.
  3. Once you pita is nice and crispy, prepare the salad and mix the dressing, and toss all the ingredients together.
  4. Use salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. 

This recipe is not written in stone. Feel free to add whatever vegetables you like to this salad.  In fact I’ve included a nice YouTube video demonstrating how to prepare this salad in a slightly different manner. Enjoy

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

Everybody loves soup. A simple yet delicious recipe.

Herbivore

RedLentilSoup

This soup is one of my favorite easy recipes to make, and is great for a winter weekday, when you just want something simple, warm, and full of flavor.

The recipe, originally from the Allrecipes.com website posted by JENP1, is closest I have been able to come to my favorite red lentil soup served at Mezze Bar in Auckland CBD.  It was not originally a vegetarian recipe, but with the substitution of vegetable stock for chicken stock, and a few small tweaks of the spices, I do not think it has lost any of its flavor.

Red lentils, which are very high in protein, vitamins, and nutrients, are often used in Middle Eastern style cooking. Lentils were one of the first domesticated crops, but may have been eaten by humans almost 13,000 years ago. Red lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils, but that means they…

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