FATTOUSH (Arab mixed vegetable salad, for six)

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For the dressing:

4 teaspoons ground sumac, soaked in 4 teaspoons warm water for 15 minutes

3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons (or more) pomegranate molasses

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons (or more) white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon dried mint

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt

For the salad:

two 8” diameter pita breads, halved, toasted until golden brown, broken into bite sized pieces

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt

3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped, or 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 pound Persian cucumbers, or one 1-pound English hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

6 scallions, thinly sliced

2 little Gem or baby romaine lettuces, or 1 small head romaine, trimmed, cut crosswise into ¾ inch strips

2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 cups purslane leaves or additional ¾ inch strips romaine lettuce

1 cup fresh mint leaves

ground sumac (optional)

  1. For the dressing: Combine sumac with soaking liquid, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, garlic, 2 teaspoons vinegar and dried mint in a small bowl.  Gradually add oil, whisking constantly, until well blended.  Season with salt;  add more lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and vinegar to taste, if desired.
  1. For the salad: Place pita pieces in a medium bowl.  Pour oil over and toss to coat.  Season pita to taste with salt.
  1. Mix tomatoes and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add ¾ of dressing and toss to coat, adding more dressing by tablespoonsful as needed.  Season with salt.  Add pita, toss once, and sprinkle sumac over if desired.


from Annisa Helou, Bon Appetit Magazine, May, 2012

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