I have found memories of childhood. When I was eighteen I new how a tomato, cucumber, carrot should taste but I had never eaten ethnic food. One night a friend invited me to join his family at a Lebanese restaurant in Montreal. What a revelation that Dinner was. Bite after bite I felt explosion of flavors in my mouth. After that memorable night I was on a quest to re-create ethnic food dishes. Still to this day my all-time favorite cuisine is Lebanese. I could drive miles to eat in a authentic Lebanese restaurant. The smell when you enter these restaurants is incredible. The food with all the spices is so good. I love ordering small plates and try many items on the menu. For salads Fatoosh comes on top. This recipe was found in A Taste of Lebanon. That is the only Lebanese cookbook that I own in my collection and I refer to it a lot. Mary Salloum knows how maintain genuine flavors of the Middle East in her dishes.
This salad is often referred as: Bread Salad
2 small Pita Bread
8 Romaine lettuce leaves
1 bunch radishes, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp sumac herb
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil + 4 tsp olive oil
2 tsp zaatar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh mint
Warm oven to 350F. Brush 2 tsp olive oil on top of each pita bread. Sprinkle 1 tsp zaatar on top of each pita bread. Cook at 350F for 5 minutes.
In a big bowl, whish 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper. Add all the remaining ingredients except pita bread and sumac.
When the pita bread is cooked, take out of the oven and let cool at room temperature.
Just before serving sprinkle the sumac herb on top of the salad and add the pita bread broken into pieces. Mix well and serve.
Serve with cucumber water. Prepare the water one hour before serving. In a pitcher add cucumber slices and add water.
Recipe inspired by A Taste of Lebanon