Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fatoosh: The Ultimate Lebanese Salad فتوش

Fatoosh is probably the most known Middle Eastern salad, or is it Tabbouleh? Fattoush is on every menu in any Middle Eastern restaurant in the world; that is if they really have menus. It is also "the main salad" served in the holy month of Ramadan. I think that it is so popular because the ingredients are available in most corners of the world. Fatoosh tastes the best in the summer when the tomatoes and cucumbers and green mixes are in season and at their peek. 
Every family has its own version of Fatoosh depending on what is available in their fridge. Some people prefer their Fatoosh on the chunky side, others like to cut their vegetable in small pieces. The dressing also differs from a household to another. Some like to use just lemon juice and oil and garlic in the dressing, others add pomegranate molasses or sumac. Fatoosh is basically a salad topped with pita bread.

The use of pita bread started when the villagers had leftover stale pita and generally speaking waste is not welcomed in rural areas. So the stale pita were crushed into smaller piece and added to the salad and when they soak up the dressing, they become so flavorful! Who can resist a garlic, lemony, oily, salty goodness?
When the city people started making Fattoush, they used fried pita bread instead of the dry bread to make it more posh. Nowadays, people who prefer no carb diets, forgo the bread completely. I don't add bread most of the times when I make Fattoush but when I do, I prefer to bake the pita bread drizzled with a little bit of olive oil.  Today, I will share my favorite version of Fatoosh.
For the baked Pita chips recipe, click here

There are really no specific list of ingredients but below is a suggestive list
2 tomatos
2 cucumbers
2 cups lettuce or mixed greens or a combination
2 tablespoons red or green onions
1 tablespoon mint fresh (or 1 teaspoon of dried)
1 tablespoon parsley
1 cilantro
1 red or green or yellow bell pepper
1 cup cabbage
1 bunch of purslane

1/4 cup live oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Baked Pita chips

Cut your ingredients in similar size. I like my Fattoush salad to be on the chunkier side, I think it looks more rustic and I prefer to have a good bite of my vegetables. My mother prefers hers to be on the finer side.
Mix the dressing ingredients and keep in the fridge.
Make the pita chips. follow this link for the recipe.
Reserve the salad dressing and the pita chips until the moment you wish to serve the salad. The dressing will cause the salad to wilt and the pita chips becomes really soggy. Nothing is more sad to me than a soggy, sad looking Fattoush.
When ready to serve, add the dressing, mix the ingredients and at the end add the pita and gently mix the salad. You really don't want to break those beautiful pita chips.

Serve it next to my Fava beans and rice recipe, click here to see the recipe


Baked Pita Chips recipe, click here
Fava beans with Rice recipe, click here

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