|Bon Appetit, May, 2012|
I was going through some cooking magazines looking for a nice salad to make with dinner on Friday night. I wanted something colorful with a lot of different textures. I thought about making a panzanella salad, but then I happened on this recipe for a fattoush salad.
I have never made a fattoush salad before. It's sort of a Middle Eastern version of the Italian panzanella salad, and uses toasted pita in place of the toasted bread. The dressing is heavy on ground sumac and uses pomegranate molasses. I thought it sounded really interesting and delicious.
My first order of business was to procure some sumac and some pomegranate molasses. This is where Google is invaluable. A quick search revealed that there was a Middle Eastern market just a few minutes from my house. In fact, it's so close that I've probably passed it 100 times. I zipped over and picked up my ingredients and I was ready to go.
Like panzanella, fattoush requires a lot of cutting and chopping. The result is a really colorful and flavorful salad, which is actually hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian entree.
Ted and Kate loved it and I felt like I put some of the mint I have growing in my backyard to good use. As the summer progresses, I'll be able to come up with most everything I need for this salad just by going into my backyard.
(Bon Appetit, May, 2012)
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
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Salad:
2 8-inch-diameter pita breads, halved, toasted until golden brown, broken into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
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 lettuce, trimmed, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch strips
2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 cups purslane leaves or additional 3/4-inch-strips romaine lettuce
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Ground sumac (optional)
To Make the Dressing:
Combine sumac with soaking liquid, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses, garlic, 2 tsp. 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.
To Make the Salad:
Place pita pieces in a medium bowl; pour oil over and toss to coat. Season pita to taste with salt.
Mix tomatoes and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add 3/4 of dressing; toss to coat, adding more dressing by tablespoonfuls as needed. Season with salt. Add pita; toss once. Sprinkle sumac over, if desired.