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

Sumac

September Spice News

We’re back from our short summer spice sourcing trip. This year our travels took us to the Middle-East. On our journey we picked up a few interesting spices, namely Sumac Ajwain Seeds (Carom Seed), Black Caraway Seeds (also known as Nigella), and finally asafoetida.

So what will September Bring?

Our Essential Indian Spice Collection

With our new additions we are going to be putting together what we will dub our “Essential Indian Spice Collection”. Does this spice collection include every single spice you will ever need when cooking Indian food? No, no even close. But our Essential Indian Spice Collection it will put you on a solid footing as you embark on your next culinary experiment. Our collection will include the very basics.

  • Coriander Seeds
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Turmeric Powder or dried turmeric root
  • Fenugreek
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Sanaam Chillies (medium heat)
  • A Garam Masala mixture containing whole spices to be freshly ground at home.

All this will come in a fancy box making it the perfect gift for an upcoming holiday which shall not be mentioned until after Thanksgiving. Look for this set to go on sale by mid-September.

Asafoetida

aseofetida

aseofetida

I wrote a little about this new addition in mid-August. Let just say it has arrived in our warehouse and the odor is anything but pleasant. Why are we stocking such a rank smelling spice? Because people who love both super authentic Indian and vegetarian cuisine have been asking for it, and as they say the customer is always right. We’ve decided the best way to package Asafoetida, otherwise known as the devil’s dung, will be in our re-sealable stand-up pouches. This allows for the most ideal seal and represents the best way to keep this malodourous spice contained. Asafoetida will be available for purchase by next week.

Sumac  

Sumac

Sumac

Sumac really defined our Middle-Eastern travels. This spice is truly something special. If a dish ever needs a hint of acidity, look no further than this beautiful dark red spice. Sumac affords a wonderful sweet and sour flavour, with notes of bitterness interlaced with subtle fruity hints. Sumac will do wonders for grilled meats, chicken or shrimp, cooked vegetables, dips, grains, and of course Lebanese Fattoush Salad.

This tart spice cuts through even the richest of meats like a hot knife through butter, leaving you with a beautifully balanced mouthful. Why stop at rich meats? Sumac will blow any dairy lovers mind. Paired with strong pungent cheeses or a subtle Labne (Lebanese Yogurt), Sumac spice will make new even the most familiar flavours.

Look for this spice to go on sale mid-September.