A fattoush is traditionally a bread salad, made from toasted or fried pieced of pitta bread, mixed with seasonal vegetables and a sour dressing. The best fattoush I’ve ever eaten was at Palomar in Soho, where it came with generous dollops of creamy home made labneh (yoghurt cheese), which has set off an ‘I-must-learn-how-to-make-labneh’ alarm in my head… In the meantime, here’s my fattoush recipe, that one day I’ll dollop my own home made labneh all over. I’ve substituted that cheese dream for a lightly sour yoghurt dressing instead…
100g natural yoghurt
50ml oil – sunflower or groundnut
Zest and juice of a lemon or lime
A fat clove of garlic
A generous grinding of black pepper
1 pitta bread, torn into small pieces
6 ripe and juicy tomatoes
Half a cucumber, diced
10 radishes, finely sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
A fistful of mixed salad leaves (peppery flavours like rocket or watercress work well)
A fistful of fresh mint leaves
First, make the dressing. Slowly add the oil to the yoghurt and stir to combine. Squeeze in the lemon juice and grate in half of the zest, grating the other half to leave to one side to garnish. Finely chop and crush the garlic clove into a paste, and stir in. Season to your taste with salt and a generous amount of black pepper, then cover and set to one side.
Tear up the pitta bread and toss into a pan with a splash of oil on a medium-high heat. Cook until crisp, stirring occasionally to stop them from sticking and burning, and to cook them evenly.
Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes, onion and cucumber and slice the radishes, and toss into a bowl with the salad leaves and mint. Scatter the crisp pitta bread croutons over the top, and drizzle the dressing over to serve.