Adaptation of Lebanese Fattoush Salad with Grilled Haloumi

After adapting this Lebanese salad to available produce, and adjusted to our taste, I have come up with one of the most delicious and refreshing salads, we have had in a long time. Easy to make and beautiful to serve. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Most of these ingredients are easy to find, if not, I’ve given substitutes. The haloumi cheese is available at Amazon and Zabar’s. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 

 

Fattoush (also fattush, fatush, fattoosh, and fattouche) is a Levantine bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of Arabic flat bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as radishes and tomatoes. Fattush belongs to the family of dishes known as fattat (plural of fatteh), which use stale flatbread as a base.

 

Fattoush includes vegetables and herbs according to season and taste. The vegetables are cut into relatively large pieces compared to tabbouleh which requires ingredients to be finely chopped. Staghorn sumac is usually used to give fattoush its sour taste.

 

I decided not to make croutons out of the pita or flat bread. Instead, I served warm pita at the table, with garlic hummus. Although I like to use ground sumac in other dishes, I didn’t want a sour taste in this salad, so omitted the sumac.

 

Ingredients

1 large green capsicum (pepper) or avocado, cut in cubes

1 Lebanese, or long English cucumber, finely chopped

2 ripe truss or vine tomatoes, finely chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped

1/2 bunch fresh coriander, leaves chopped

2 pita bread toasted, then make small croutons in food processor

1/4 to 1/2 pound haloumi cheese, cubed (or muenster)

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

 

Dressing 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch chili flakes

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

3 small garlic cloves, crushed or squeezed

1/2 teaspoon caster sugar

 

Using a garlic press, you can squeeze the garlic right into a small bowl with the other dressing ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

Directions

1. Rinse all of your raw veggies well. You don’t know where they’ve come from or who has handled them. Also, there could be residue from pesticides, even though the claim is organic. Why take a chance, when it only takes a few minutes.

2. Do all of your chopping, cutting slicing, squeezing, peeling etc.

3. Make the dressing first. Simply combine all the ingredients into a small bowl, as you see above.

 

Something so-o refreshing about the smell of chopped cucumbers. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Do all of your chopping first. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

4. If you plan to toast pita or flat bread, do that now. Then, either cut the toasted bread into cubes, or put into food processor and pulse, until you get the size of crouton you want to put into the salad. I have no photos to show re: bread, because decided not to have bread in this kind of salad.

5. In a large salad bowl, that you plan to use for serving, add all of the salad (veggies plus herbs) ingredients, in no special order, and toss them.

 

Making this salad made me feel really healthy; eating it was even better and such a pleasure. You’re going to love this salad. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Not a chore; rather, time well spent! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

You decide if you want to fry the cheese or simply add the cheese cubes to the salad. Do this step last, add the cheese cubes to the salad and give one last toss. I didn’t fry the cheese. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

I added the dressing last, after adding the cheese cubes. Then several good tosses. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

6. After tossing the fresh ingredients, add the toasted pita to the salad, if you want to.

7. If you decide to fry the cheese, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the haloumi or muenster, turning, for 2 minutes or until golden. Arrange over the salad. Serve drizzled with a little extra lemon juice.

 

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We had this salad with warm pita, hummus and well chilled white wine. Then a new recipe I’m working on, curried quinoa with chicken thighs, toasted pistachios, golden raisins. Just about ready to share with you

For dessert, a simple fresh berry combo, photo below.

 

Fresh berry combo for dessert. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Varieties of Arab salad: Arab salad, Fattoush, Palestinian salad, Matbucha, Tabbouleh and Raheb. Source: Wikipedia Commons.

 

Pouilly-Fuisse has become our default white wine, taking the place of sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio.

 

We have been following the work of Rajiv Joseph for many years. This weekend we saw his latest play, Describe the Night, produced by one of the theaters we are proud to be patrons of, The Atlantic Theater Company on West 20th Street, here in Manhattan. YOU CANNOT MISS THIS WONDERFUL PRODUCTION WHICH IS RAJIV JOSEPH’S BEST! This is an epic drama based on the life and writings of the great Russian-Jewish, playwright and author, Isaak Babel (1894-1940), who was executed by Stalin’s secret police in 1940. His work was not published in its original versions again, until the 1990s. Babel’s diary becomes a focal point, around which this drama unfolds and weaves around, going, very affectively, back and forth in time. This play is so well acted and directed, that it catches the audience’s attention, immediately, and doesn’t let it go until the final scene. During the two intermissions, we all said agreed (members of audience) that we couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Certain years of Soviet and Russian history are well integrated into this amazing play.

The sets are excellent and so is the sound design. Be prepared for one of the best theatrical experiences of the year, as Rajiv Joseph expertly traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth and conspiracy theories.

 

Playwright, Rajiv Joseph

Photo credit: Jessica Johnston – Nefariouschafe, CC BY 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17945095

 

Isaak Babel

More about Isaak Babel

Hope you had a great week!

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

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