Fatoush is one of my all time favourite salads. I'd happily eat Lebanese food all day (often do) and a forkful of fatuoush is a tart refreshing zing with every bite.
I first ate Fatoush at one of my favourite restaurants in Australia if not the planet Al Aseel in Sydney. There's a lot to miss about that place, and when I visit Sydney - it's literally the first place I go - even before friends and family (sorry guys!). Their Baba, Shankleesh Salad and especially Hummus are legendary!
Tabouli or Fatoush? Which is YOUR favourite?
Lebanese food is generally eaten as shared plates and accompanying any good spread is a salad. I'm not a big fan of Tabouli salad - I much prefer fatoush - a melange of crunchy vegetables alongside crispy fried Lebanese bread and tossed in an INTENSE pomegranate molasses dressing. I find eating tabouli to be how I'd imagine munching through a bowl of grass - but each to their own I guess. Give me fatoush any day!
Amusingly, there's some kind of enzyme in pomegranate that causes a weird reaction on my tongue and gives me a slight mouth paralysis! Like a trooper, I'll push on and suffer for my salad because it's such a sweet, savoury and sour sensation (try saying that with tongue paralysis!).
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. Next time you're cooking up a Middle Eastern spread serve it with Fatoush as a must.
How to make my Fatoush Salad
- 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)
- 8 red radishes (trimmed and cut into 2cm cubes)
- 5 spring onions (cut into 2cm pieces)
- 1 small red bell pepper/capsicum (cut into 2cm cubes)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint (chopped)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cup Iceberg lettuce (torn into small pieces)
- 1/2 fresh pomegranate (seeds of)
- 1 sumac
- 1 lemon (juice of)
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp 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, sumac 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 anything! Seriously!
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