Saturday, March 21, 2009

Probably The Prettiest Salad on the Planet: Fattoush



Doesn't that look like spring? Just a tiny bit? And don't we NEED a little spring? I know I do. The weather has been absolutely pretty around here the last couple of days, I've dropped off my big bulky winter jacket at the cleaners (so it'll be ready for next winter) and am cautiously stepping out of the ever present jeans and yesterday, I thin pantyhose and a skirt. A SKIRT. Next up, I'm getting seeds ready for the balcony. It IS spring, yay!

The great thing about the salad up there - besides being almost girlish-ly adorable in it's colors - is that you can actually make this in the depth of winter. No, the tomatoes won't be as fantastic, but then leave them out and up the amount of sweet, musky melon (and I know, they're not really in season either, but at least they're worth paying for, as opposed to the greenhouse tomatoes from Holland that are all texture, no taste) The REAL time to make this is probably late summer, but I simply cannot wait. I want my dose of spring NOW!

Fattoush - Middle Eastern Bread Salad - a Camilla Plum inspiration
Another fantastic thing about this salad is that you can cut everything up well in advance, then toss it with the dressing just before serving.

You need:
6 medium ripe tomatoes
1 small cucumber
1 yellow and/or 1 red bell pepper
1 small bunch of radishes
1 small red onion
4 handfuls of mixed, crispy salad - I often use spinach, a bit of romaine, maybe some mizuna...
The seeds of half a pomegranate (but why not use the entire thing while you're at it?)
Half a small melon (I like honeydew melons, but cantaloup or Galias are just as fine. Definitely use watermelons when they're in season) and you're always welcome to do a mix, of course
Large bunch of flat-leaf parsley
Fresh mint
2 pita pockets

Cut everything into chunky - not too small - bite-sized pieces. I try to make sure I have some thing in slices (like the radishes) and some things in quarters (tomatoes) and other things just roughly cut (bell peppers, cucumbers). Tear the salad leaves up a bit, scatter the parsley and mint over. Toast the pitas until a tad more crispy than you'd do if you were stuffing them, then tear them up over the salad. Toss everything together with:

The dressing:
75 ml. nice olive oil
1 tablespoon elderflower vinegar (or other light vinegar)
2 cloves of garlic
maybe the juice of half a lemon (i usually don't think it needs it, but you be the judge)
salt and pepper
- whisk everything together. Start by using half, then add more to the salad if needed. Toss, toss, toss, then sprinkle everything with a pinch or three of sumac - it has a slightly tangy, citrussy kick that pulls everything together.

14 comments:

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

You're right! This is an incredibly pretty and vibrant salad. I wish I could get hold of elderflower vinegar---maybe I'll try making some!

mina said...

lovely! i'm visiting california and i have all these ingredients at my disposal; no excuse not to try. (:

veggievixen said...

yum! this looks so fresh, healthy and tasty. definitely reminds me of summertime when so many yummy fruits and veggies are really in season!

Jennie said...

Wow - love that color. Now I know what to do with that pomegranate that's been in my fruit basket for a couple of weeks, thanks!

Jeanne said...

Oh - that's too beautiful! Truly a girly salad to make me long for Spring... we thought it had arrived here in London but now winter's having a last go at us :(

ChichaJo said...

That does look so pretty! Happy spring to you! :)

Zarah Maria said...

Angela - by no means is elderflower vinegar necessary - although I'd love to hear how you'd make it :)

Mina - you lucky, lucky person!

Veggievixen - it's summer in a bowl!

Jennie - hope the pomegranate had a fullfilling end to it's life.

Jeanne - just the same here. It's a tease, that Spring!

Chichajo - and right back at you! :)

David said...

learning something here, never heard of sumac, great looking salad

Mary said...

My mother in law makes a couple of versions of tabbouleh, one of them with pomegranate syrup, it's to DIE FOR.

Lauren said...

I just found your blog today and am so glad I did. I have most of those salad ingredients and my mouth has begun to salivate. Yum

momoftwins said...

Looks yummy..One tip for you! Try to fry pita in little oil next time. You'll taste the difference. Totally delicious..

Cecil Mabry said...

That just looks amazing. truly... looks to cool to eat! I am craving salads left and right. Love it! & love that salad bowl even more. This looks like a very refreshing salad. You make the prettiest salads. I was a first time maker and was surprised at how easy it was to make. It tasts very good too. thank you for posting and sharing it.

Amelia PS said...

soooo refreshing and well rounded!!!

Istanbul Diary said...

refreshing,cherishing...that photo moved me ! Thank you ! It is very nice indeed...