Almost-Fattoush Salad

Fattoush plate

Fattoush plate

It’s very environmentally unfriendly of me to crave summer salads in the winter, but I have to confess: I totally do. I feel like I’m cheating here, like I’m not practicing what I’m preaching, but sometimes I just need to suck it up and have Fattoush salad. Does it count in environmental heaven that I made it with stuff that I had on hand? Of course not. It would have counted more if it had been made with veggies from the farmers’ market. Alas, the only farmers’ market open in Edmonton in the dead of winter is far-far away from me (but not as far away as freakin’ California, mind you), and I’m lazy, and, ummm, did I mention environmentally unfriendly.

Fattoush Ingredients

Fattoush Ingredients

So, pretend you’re not going to make this recipe until next August (if you live in Edmonton) or whenever your tomatoes and peppers ripen, ok? I don’t want *your* environmental unfriendliness on my conscience, too.

Making Fattoush 1

Making Fattoush 1

A couple of remarks here, before we proceed with the yumminess that is this salad: there is no avocado in the original Fattoush salad. However, like any normal compulsive person, I am obsessed with colourful food and symmetry, and I thought a whole bunch of parsley was not enough to offset the redness of the tomatoes *and* peppers. I had no cucumber in da house. Plus, I just like avocado. Secondly, the pita chips are normally deep-fried, so they hold better to the juices in the salad, and don’t become soggy right away. I found that oven-baking them until brown and crisp makes the salad just as tasty as the restaurant versions I’ve tried, and it stays so even the next day. And lastly, if you’re not used to lemon zest in your salad, you might find it an odd flavour. I think it’s worth trying.

Making Fattoush 2

Making Fattoush 2

Here goes:

Fattoush Salad

Ingredients for 4 sides or 2 mains:

  • 2 large tomatoes sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small peppers (preferably yellow or orange, but red or green will do) large-diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber or 2 small ones
  • avocado (optional, and not in the original F salad)
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley (but curly parsley will do fine)
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1- 1 and a half Tbsp. olive oil
  • oven-browned pita or tortilla
  • salt to taste

What to do:

Cut all veggies and toss together with lemon zest, juice, salt and olive oil. Break oven-crisped pita or tortilla into cca. 2×2 inch pieces (larger than bite-size) and toss with rest of salad. Enjoy with a clean conscience if veggies are in season. Try at own (and the rest of humanity’s) risk if not.

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