Fatoush Salad

This is one of my all time favourite salads. Lebanese food is up there with the greats, simple healthy and incredibly tasty – I could eat it all day, every day. As is the way, Lebanese food tends to be eaten as small mezze plates, so that the eater gets to enjoy little mouthfuls of all manner of treats. Accompanying any good spread is a leafy salad – the king of which, in my humble opinion, is Fatoush. A melange of crunchy vegetables alongside crispy, fried Lebanese bread (a great way to use stale bread). The whole thing is dressed in a sharp, citrus dressing using lemon and pomegranate molasses. The result is a sweet and savoury sensation! Recipes differ from place to place, and I often change up the ingredients slightly depending on what’s in the fridge, but so long as you keep the major ingredients the same, there’s room for manoeuvre.

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4-8 as a side dish)
1-2 lebanese flat-breads
3/4 cup olive oil

1 medium Lebanese cucumber (seeded and cut into 2cm cubes)
2 tomatoes (seeded and cut into 2cm cubes)
6-8 red radishes (trimmed and cut into 2cm cubes)
5 spring onions (cut into 2cm pieces)
1 small yellow capsicum (cut into 2cm cubes)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup fresh mint (chopped)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups Iceberg lettuce (torn into small pieces) (substitute with other salad leaves if you like)
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
1 lemon (juice of)
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat until hot. Break up the bread into bite size pieces then fry in the oil both sides until crisp. Drain on paper towels and leave to cool completely. Discard the oil.

Combine all the vegetables and herbs in a large bowl and leave in fridge.

Whisk together the lemon juice, molasses, extra virgin olive oil and salt. Just before serving, toss into the salad the bread pieces. Pour over the dressing and stir well. Serve immediately otherwise the bread will lose its crunch.

Serve alongside pretty much any Lebanese treat – check out some of my other Lebanese recipes for perfect partners


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