Thursday, April 18, 2013

Na'ama's Fattoush: Bread & Vegetable Salad

I have been looking at the recipe for Na'ama's Fattoush ever since buying Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. This week, I Heart Cooking Clubs features recipes with root vegetables and this salad includes radishes--an under-used root vegetable in my world. I used to dislike radishes until I had them roasted. After that, I gradually began to appreciate them raw, just as long as they are thinly sliced. ;-) 

Fattoush is a bread and vegetable salad--usually using fried or toasted flat bread, seasonal veggies and sumac. This one differs in that it has a buttermilk-like dressing and the bread is not fried. I was able to use all local veggies and herbs--little baby cucumbers, small cherry tomatoes and both red and pink radishes. I also added a can of chickpeas to the mix--it makes it more of a meal salad, nice for the warm and humid days we have been having this week. 

Jerusalem says, "This fabulous salad is probably Sami's mother's creation; Sami can't recall anyone else in the neighborhood making it. She called it fattoush, which is true only to the extent that it includes chopped vegetable and bread. She added a kind of homemade buttermilk and didn't fry her bread which makes it terribly comforting.

Na'ama's Fattoush
Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
(Serves 6)

scant 1 cup/200g Greek yogurt and 3/4 cup + 2 Tbs/ 200ml full-fat milk, or 1 2/3 cups /400ml buttermilk (replacing both yogurt and milk)
2 large stale Turkish flatbread or naan
3 large tomatoes, cut into large dice (I used cherry tomatoes)
3 1/2 oz /100g radishes, thinly sliced
3 Lebanese or mini cucumbers, peeled and chopped into large dice
2 green onions, thinly sliced 
(I added one can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained)
1/2 oz /15g mint, roughly chopped
scant 1 oz /25g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp dried mint
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup/60ml olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp sumac or more to taste, to garnish 

If using yogurt and milk, start at least three hours and up to a day in advance by placing both in a bowl. Whisk well and leave in a cool place or in the fridge until bubbles form on the surface. What you get is a kind of homemade buttermilk, but less sour. 

Tear the bread into bite-size pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add your fermented yogurt mixture or buttermilk, followed by the rest of the ingredients, mix well and leave for 10 minutes for all the flavours to combine. 

Spoon the fattoush into serving bowls, drizzle with olive oil and garnish generously with sumac. 

Notes/Results: The crispness of the vegetables, combined with the softened bread and creamy dressing is good--but, when I make it again I will toast the bread. I felt that the garlic naan I used, although stale, was too soft and I missed that crunch from fattoush I have eaten before. I like the flavors of the cooling mint and yogurt with the tang of the lemon, vinegar and the sumac that is sprinkled on top--very refreshing. It is an easy salad to make--it does take extra prep time if you use the yogurt & milk as I did but very quick if you go with the buttermilk. With the garbanzo beans it is satisfying enough as a light lunch or dinner and it was also nice as a side dish for a piece of salmon, roasted with lemon and dill. I will make it again--with the bread toasted.

This is my entry for I Heart Cooking Clubs "Get Back to Your Roots!" theme. You can check out the root veggie-filled recipes everyone made by following the links.



  1. Couscous & ConsciousnessApril 18, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    I've been eyeing up this salad too, Deb. I love that you added the chickpeas, as I would certainly make a meal of this, and I think I would like the bread toasted too - love that bit of crunch.

  2. Now that I've fallen in love with Ottolenghi's spinach and date salad with similar spices, I need to give this a go! Radishes are super underrused in my world also!

  3. This dressing sounds like fun to make--having a bubbly creation in my fridge is something I need to do. At first, I wasn't sure about YO. But he uses a lot of lemon so he's passed my test ;-)

  4. I love any incarnation of fattoush, the crunchy toasty bread making it a filling satisfying salad & what a great idea to add chickpeas. And that buttermilk dressing is most definitely on the I want to try list....that list is getting so long, & that is just Ottolenghi!

  5. This looks really delicious! And I love your addition of garbanzo beans, one of my favourites! I have problem getting sumac and za'atar, ordering them from online would cost me a big hole in the pocket, as the shipping cost is extremely expensive! Trying to make some of my own, but I need some sumac or dried lemon peel to make some za'atar. Oh well, I'll find a way! :)


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