This tasty winter fattoush salad is a seasonal take on a classic Middle Eastern salad – made with parsnip, cauliflower and apple as well as the typical crisp pitta and lettuce base, it’s brought together with a delicious zesty dressing.
I don’t know about you, but ordinarily salad is not something I really have in mind at this time of year, especially at the moment when we have a ridiculous amount of snow about. After hardly any snow earlier in the winter, the last couple weeks have taken us in to record-breaking territory here, apparently. There are snow walls and snow hills dotted along almost every street near where I live and a few places with true snow mountains where they are trying to clear the snow to from roads etc. All a little crazy. Anyway, as I say that and salad don’t usually feel like they go together but this winter fattoush is one that is a bit different and somehow feels a fit. It helps that it’s really tasty, of course.
For a start, I served it as a side to a nice warming tagine or tangia. It is also made with wintery ingredients like parsnip, cauliflower and apple. It’s a more robust, ‘solid’ salad than some you might have in warmer weather but with plenty of flavor. This winter fattoush has a wonderfully sharp, but not too sharp, dressing that gives that great zingy freshness that works so well in Middle Eastern foods.
What is fattoush?
Fattoush, if you are not familiar with it, is one of the staple salads (alongside tabbouleh) in Middle Eastern cooking. While there are a few varieties, the base is always lettuce and there are crisp pieces of pitta mixed through. It’s usually finished with a zesty lemon-oil dressing with sumac in it. Sumac is a spice that has quite a citrus flavor to it so adds an extra zing to the crispy salad. This winter fattoush takes the same base and adds a more cold-weather set of ingredients.
How it’s made
This winter fattoush is a nice easy salad to put together. You just toast the pitta, chop a bunch of stuff up and make a quick dressing. Most can be done in advance as well, if that suits your schedule The only thing is don’t add the toasted pitta in to the salad until you are about to serve as it will probably go soggy.
Winter fattoush is a great way to start a meal or go alongside other dishes of the region. Why not pack a box of it for a tasty lunch. Whenever you have it, it’s definitely one to try. Plenty of crunch, a zingy dressing. You’ll be back for more.
A seasonal twist on a classic Middle Eastern salad, this winter fattoush makes a delicious side.
- 1 pita bread
- 4 leaves romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup parsnip once peeled and small dice, 1 medium parsnip
- 1/2 cup cauliflower once small dice, 1 large floret
- 1/2 apple
- 1 bunch parsley small
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sumac
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 clove garlic or 2 small, crushed/grated
- salt and pepper
Toast the pitta until really crisp, but not burnt. You can do this by cutting it up in to small pieces and drying out in the oven or else toasting under a grill, splitting open and toasting again then breaking up. Break in to small chunks either way and set aside.
Slice the lettuce fairly thin and place in a serving bowl.
Dice the parsnip, cauliflower and apple small and add to the bowl.
Roughly chop the parsley leaves and add to the bowl.
Make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, oil, sumac, honey, grated or crushed garlic and some salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, add the pitta chunks and dressing to the bowl and mix well.
Try these other salads great for the winter months:
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