Recipe: Fattoush, A Delicious Middle Eastern Salad

Often a part of meze spreads in Middle Eastern and Arabic countries, fattoush is a simple salad made with fresh vegetables and toasted pita bread. It's a good way to use up stale pita bread and the unique flavoring in the seasoning comes from the addition of sumac.The dish is originally from the Levantine region of the Middle East, which includes Lebanon and Syria, but has spread throughout the Middle East region as a popular mezedhe (meze dishes.) The recipe is very simple, but versatile as you can omit or add various ingredients.

Fattoush Recipe
Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, small dice
2 cups of fresh tomatoes, quartered in bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
1 green pepper, diced
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon sumac
2 pieces of pita bread toasted until golden brown, broken into pieces the size of a quarter

Optional Ingredients:
Feta cheese
Carrot
Red pepper
Black olive
Pomegranate Arils
Grilled Eggplant Chunks

Preparation:
In a large bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients. Add everything else and toss well. This keeps very well in the fridge and can be made ahead. Serve as a side salad, a meze plate accompaniment, or as a filling in a pita sandwich with some grilled vegetables and roast chicken or lamb. Delicious!

Related:
Recipe: Pumpernickel, Watercress and Mushroom Bread Salad
Look! Roast Chicken and Zuni Bread Salad
Recipe: Sumac-Dusted Oven Fries with Garlic Spread
Ingredient Spotlight: Sumac
Recipe: Easy Homemade Pita Bread
Recipe: D.I.Y. Baba Ghanoush
Word of Mouth: Labneh

(Image: Kathryn Hill)

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