Posts Tagged ‘fattoush salad’

Do you remember the café press?  They were all the rage about ten years ago, when we lauded their ability to turn bread and antipasto into dinner in ten minutes flat.

I remember many dinners of Turkish bread stuffed with prosciutto and fancy cheeses, served with a simple salad. And then, all of a sudden, they went out of vogue.  Which is a shame, as they really did make the worknight dinner a simple affair.

These days, ours is only ever dragged out to make crackers.

As I’ve mentioned before, we bake all our own bread at home, with the exception of Lebanese pita bread.

I’m sure I could make it at home, but with the Baalbek bakery just a few minutes down the road turning out hundreds of fresh rounds daily (at 20c each), it seems a bit redundant to do so.  And I’m pretty happy with the ingredients they use too – “wheat flour, water, salt, sugar and yeast”.  Can’t argue with that!

Whenever a packet of Lebanese bread gets a little stale, I turn them into crackers, by simply toasting them in the café press.  It only takes a couple of minutes per slice, and the end result is a dry, crisp cracker that keeps well for several days in an airtight container.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to cheeses, an antipasto plate, or dips.  We keep a packet of Lebanese bread in the freezer specifically for this purpose, and now no longer buy water crackers or crispbreads when we’re preparing a cheese plate.

Today,  all the ingredients came together for a fattoush salad.

As the chooks were ready for their next rotation, Pete cleared all the continental parsley from the incumbent bed, and brought it in along with a large bunch of purslane.

  • 1 round Lebanese bread, toasted until crisp and broken into shards
  • 5 – 6 radishes, washed and sliced
  • 3 Lebanese cucumbers, washed and sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 10 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 cup purslane, washed and chopped – you can just use the leaves, or include the stems as well, like I did
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup mint leaves

These are the quantities listed in the original recipe, taken from Abla’s Lebanese Kitchen, by Abla Amad.  I used more bread and fewer cucumbers, but the salad was still delicious.  Abla recommends splitting the pita bread and toasting it in the oven for 4 – 5 minutes until dry and crisp – I, of course, used the café press.

To dress the salad, combine the following ingredients, pour over and toss through.  I used less salt than the 1 teaspoon specified – personal preference on my part.

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (original recipe called for 1 teaspoon salt)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 100ml lemon juice
  • 100ml olive oil

We served our salad with more pita bread crackers and hommus, for an easy and delicious Saturday lunch!

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