A light and tangy salad is the perfect side for a hearty dish like mujaddara. Fattoush is a salad made of mixed vegetables topped with fried pita, and is made when cooks have left over stale pita. However, instead of standing over a greasy hot fryer, I’m just going to buy store-bought pita chips, which are readily available and taste great (try Waleed’s brand)!
- 2 tsps sumac (Sumac is an ubiquitous Middle Eastern spice. It has a sour flavor and can be found in most Middle Eastern grocery stores)
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and dried
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, ripe but firm, roughly diced
- 1/3 cup of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
Mix sumac, allspice and pepper to the sliced onions and rub it in well.
Cut the lettuce leaves crossways into 1-inch strips. Place them in a large salad bowl with the radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and all the herb leaves.
*Tip: Do you have lettuce that is wilty and not very crispy? Soak the leaves in cold water and a few healthy splashes of vinegar (any kind of vinegar). Let the leaves soak for about 15-20 minutes, and the leaves will be crunchy and crispy!
Dressing: Mix the garlic with the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil and salt.
When you are ready to serve, add the spiced onions to the other salad ingredients, add the dressing and toss. Add the fried bread on top of everything and serve.
(Adapted from Artichoke to Za’atar: Modern Middle Eastern Food)