Saturday, September 22, 2007


Fatoush, or fattoush, can be as fine as you like it, but I like it roughly chopped and crunchy with lots of lemon and garlic. Traditionally, it has a layer of fried Arabic bread scattered over the top: just split a round of bread and cut or tear it into 1" pieces, brush these with oil and then grill or bake them until they're crisp and brown. Personally, I omit this when I'm making fattoush as it's quite heavy: a scattering of freshly toasted pine nuts is something I prefer. I understand this is terribly wrong, and I'm sorry.


  • 1 cos lettuce
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 Arabic breads
  • 1 clove garlic, grated 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon, juiced and grated zest
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tsp sumak
  • Salt and pepper

Slice the Arabic breads into two halves, and part the two layers of bread. Slide a rough edged knife around the edge of the bread until you have eight half discs with a smooth and rough face. Brush these with 2 tbsps of the olive oil and place in large baking tray on the middle shelf of a preheated oven set to 200C/400F or Gas Mark 6. Bake them for five minutes or so, keeping a watchful eye on them until they are browned and crisp. Remove, and allow to cool. You should end up with something halfway between fried bread and melba toast.

Slice the cos lettuce leaves down the spine and then across into strips, around 2.5cm wide. You can go up to 2.6cm if you really must, but never down to less than 2.3cm. No, I'm mucking about. Suit yourself, really!

Deseed and chop the tomatoes roughly and then slice the cucumber into wideish slices then quarter them. Chop the spring onions roughly, too.

Throw all of the salad vegetables into a bowl. Juice the lemon, and add the remainder of the olive oil to the juice. Add in plenty of pepper, the samak and at least a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Just before you are ready to serve the fattoush, drizzle the dressing mixture over it all, toss it and then slide the fried bread over the top.

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