Fattoush, translated simply means “wet bread” in Arabic.
This simple, gutsy salad, using the humblest of ingredients, is perfect for summer. It makes a great light lunch, a delicious addition to mezze or a wonderful side salad. Fattoush deserves nothing less than the ripest full flavor tomatoes, wonderful fresh herbs and is the greatest way to use up left over bread. I really hope you give it a go, Cath x
Stale Turkish bread - or Darren's Focaccia
3 perfectly ripe, super sweet, tomatoes
1 continental cucumber
Finely sliced red onion
Finely sliced spring onion
1 cup picked Italian parsley leaves
1 cup picked coriander leaves
8 mint leaves, torn into smallish pieces
Generous pinch or two of Sumac
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Red wine vinegar
Mild blend olive oil
Break Turkish bread into 2 – 3 cm chunks, roll in olive oil, season with salt & pepper and back in a 160C oven until dry, golden and crunchy. Approximately 20-30 minutes depending upon the thickness of bread.
Optional but highly recommended, rub each piece with a cut garlic clove.
Make a simple vinaigrette by combining red wine vinegar and a mild olive oil in equal quantities, season well with salt & pepper.
Thinly slice the red onion and soak in cold water, this helps release some of the acid
Remove the core of the tomatoes and cut into eighths, cut avocado and cucumber in to 2 cm chunks.
Finely chop spring onion
To assemble salad: In a large stainless steel bowl, cover croutons with red wine vinaigrette and leave to soak for approximately 2 minutes. (don't leave them to too long! They should absorb the vinaigrette but still retain a little crunch). Then add cut vegetables and onion (squeeze red onion to release the water)
Season well with salt and pepper and toss gently, add fresh herbs and sumac toss again and serve.
Tip – allow ingredients to come to room temperature, things taste better without an unnatural chill.