Fattoush is one of my all time favourite salads. I'd happily eat Lebanese food all day (often do) and a forkful of fattoush is a tart refreshing zing with every bite.
I first ate Fattoush 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 Ghanoush, Shangleesh Salad and especially Hummus are legendary!
Tabouli or Fattoush? 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 actually really hate it) - I much prefer fattoush - a melange of crunchy vegetables alongside crispy fried Lebanese bread and tossed in an INTENSE tart 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 fattoush 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 Fattoush as a must.
A perfect Lebanese Meal Plan
I don't really serve my Lebanese dinners as courses - I'll pretty much just serve everything savoury in one fell swoop in the centre of the table and let everyone share everything. If we have room, sweet things and coffee may be served later.
My Lebanese dinner will always include some variation of the following - why not give this a try for your next dinner get together?
Flatbreads, pickled turnip, carrots and cucumber.
Lamb Kebabs or Lamb Kofta Kebabs (or both)
Toum (whipped garlic) - I wish I could successfully make this at home!
Fattoush (recipe below)
Lebanese sweets and pastries + coffee (or more wine)