Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Fattoush - Lebanese Salad

We eat a lot of basil and oregano in this county, but in other countries (or regions) they eat different herbs and spices (Can you imagine? Are you shocked by this information?). For instance in the Middle East (mostly Turkey and Syria I would say) Sumac (the C is not pronounced) is a popular spice, used the way we use salt and pepper or even lemon juice or vinegar. It has a sour taste that became popular prior to the introduction of citrus to the area. You may have come across it sometime in a salad such as this, but never known what it was you were tasting. It is available online from Penzeys. When mixed with sesame seeds, salt and thyme it becomes Za'atar. (Which is tasty sprinkled over plain yogurt and used as a dip!)

4 pita bread rounds,
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
½ cup kalamata olives, without pits, chopped
1 head of romaine lettuce leaves, chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
1 Persian cucumber, peeled, chopped (Persian cucumbers have very few seeds. If you can’t get them, just remove the seeds of the cucumber you do use)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme

1 tablespoons toasted seasame seeds
1 teaspoons ground sumac
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400F.

Lightly brush the pita with some of the olive oil, cut into medium-small pieces and arrange on a cookie sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Mix tomatoes, olives, lettuce, parsley, mint, green onions, cucumber, red bell pepper and toasted pita bread in large bowl.

Whisk the oil, lemon juice, garlic clove and sumac in small bowl to blend. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

As with all bread salads, this does not hold well.

Serves four generously

Additions: Red Onion, Feta Cheese, Hot Peppers or Grilled Chicken, Lamb or Shrimp

The average American consumes about 50 to 60 pounds of bread per year.

7 percent of all Americans eat at McDonald's each day.

In 2002, total meat consumption (red meat, poultry, and fish)
amounted to 200 pounds per person,
23 pounds above the level in 1970. Americans consumed, on average,
18 pounds less red meat (mostly less beef) than in 1970, 37 pounds

more poultry, and 4 pounds more fish. (Source, USDA)

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