Gulf Today Report
Deconstructed fattoush is the Middle Eastern bread salad according to the Independent. Traditionally made with leftover pita, seasonal vegetables and a dressing that includes the tart spice sumac, fattoush is as popular throughout the Levant as panzanella is in Italy.
This is a deconstructed version of the Middle Eastern tomato/bread salad, turning it into a platter full of elements perfect for a serve-yourself approach at a dinner party. You can get as artful or as casual as you’d like with the presentation, letting guests choose their favorite parts and create their perfect bites.
Make ahead: The pita chips can be made and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days before making the platter.
Storage notes: Refrigerate for up to 5 days, preferably with the pitas and dressing kept separate from the rest of the salad.
For the salad:
120ml extra-virgin olive oil
60ml fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, finely grated or pressed
½ tsp fine salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.13kg fresh tomatoes, preferably a mix of shapes, sizes and colours, cored if needed and cut into rounds and/or wedges
3 to 4 small cucumbers (340g total), sliced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and sliced
One (425g) tin no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 360g cooked chickpeas)
½ medium red onion (85g), finely sliced
1 tsp ground sumac (may substitute za’atar spice blend)
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Lemon wedges, for serving
For the crispy pita:
4 small pita pockets or 2 large pita breads (170g), cut into triangles
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 230C.
Make the salad: in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until combined. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper as needed.
On a large serving platter, arrange the tomatoes and cucumbers. Top with the bell pepper, chickpeas and onion. Sprinkle with the sumac and drizzle with 60ml of the dressing.
Make the crispy pita: while the salad sits and the flavours meld, on a large, rimmed baking tray, toss the pita triangles with the olive oil and spread them out. Toast for about 10 minutes, turning as needed, until golden brown and crisp.
Arrange the pita triangles on the platter. Sprinkle with the herbs and serve with the lemon wedges and the remaining dressing.
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