Barbara Massaad’s recipe for fattoush from her cookbook Mezze is wonderfully flexible. As she says, this is a salad to be made with whatever seasonal produce you’ve got. The crunchy topping is a great way to use up stale bread, it doesn’t have to be flat bread. If you don’t have sumac, which Barbara recommends for its lemony taste, Zejd’s pomegranate molasses provides a really impressive boost of citrusy sharpness, so you’ll be fine without it. Please feel free to add and subtract depending on what you’ve got. It’s the dressing that counts!
1 small little gem lettuce, leaves torn
a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves roughly sliced
a handful of mint leaves, torn
1/2 large cucumber, seeded (or if you’re lucky 3 small cucumbers) roughly chopped
200g cherry tomatoes, (or the tastiest tomatoes you can find), halved
5-6 radishes, sliced (if the leaves are in good shape use those too)
3 spring onions, sliced
100g rocket or interesting salad leaves (optional)
1 tbsp sumac (optional)
1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
90 ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 flat bread, pitta or slice of bread, roughly torn
butter to fry
- In a large salad bowl, add the torn lettuce leaves, parsley, mint, rocket and other salad leaves. Then add the tomatoes, radishes and spring onions.
- In a small frying pan, melt the butter and add the torn bread. Cook over a medium heat until beautifully golden. You can of course deep fry the bread in sunflower oil, which is delicious, but less healthy. If you decide to grill the bread, pour some extra virgin olive oil over the bread at the end. It will stay crunchy when tossed in the salad.
- In a small bowl, add the crushed garlic (if using) and the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and a pinch of salt. Whisk well, then add the extra virgin olive oil and keep whisking until the dressing is well blended. Taste, and add more salt and lemon if needed.
- Scatter the sumac (if you have some) over the salad, add the dressing to the salad and toss. Just before bringing to the table, add the golden toasted bread on top, serve before the bread goes soggy.
Delicious alongside dishes of humous, grilled halloumi and labneh.