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Monday 7 November 2011

Sluttishly Savoury: Fattoush

Ladies, I was a dirty stop-out last week and went out every single night. It ruined me. I am too old to grab a sandwich on the way to a gig, or some filthy chips on the night bus home, and expect to get away with it. I am a shell, and my poor body is desperate for healthy food. I wandered around the supermarket at the weekend, grabbing listlessly at vegetables in the hopes they could fix me.

Now, it's absolutely not the weather for salad - unless you're talking about a salad made of bread. A BREAD SALAD. I, for one, can wholeheartedly get behind that idea. Fattoush is a lively Lebanese salad made from toasted or fried pitta bread and mixed vegetables and herbs. Serve it with grilled fish or chicken, or simply on its own.

This is no delicate salad, so chop those vegetables into chunky bite-size pieces and be liberal with the herbs and spices. Sumac gives it a tangy, sour taste but can be tricky to track down. Try the spice aisle of a large supermarket, or a local Arabic shop if you have one.

Fattoush (serves 2)

You will need:
  • 2 pitta breads
  • 1/4 cucumber, cubed (cut it lengthways, slice each half lengthways again, then chop into pieces)
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 50g rocket
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • Smaller handful of mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper
Make it!
  1. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, sumac, garlic and salt and pepper.
  2. Toss all the vegetables and herbs together in a large bowl. For a milder onion taste, soak the chopped onion in cold water or lemon juice for 10 minutes first.
  3. Toast your pitta and, once cool enough to handle, tear into small pieces and add to the salad.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil dressing over the top, toss well and serve.
Feel healthier just looking at all that greenery, and feel even better once you've eaten it. Probably better enough to go back to the shops for cake.

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