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 pita 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 when I first shared this in February 2015, when we had a ridiculous amount of snow about.
After hardly any snow earlier in the winter, two weeks took us in to record-breaking territory, apparently. There were snow walls and snow hills dotted along almost every street near where I live. A few places had true snow mountains where they were trying to clear the snow from the roads etc. All a little crazy.
Anyway, as I say cold 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 lamb 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. It 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. The classic dressing is a zesty lemon-oil mix 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 to make this winter fattoush salad
This winter fattoush is easy to put together, the main work is dicing things up.
- Toast the pita and break into chunks.
- Chop the veg & apple. Roughly chop the lettuce and parsley, and cut the apple, parsnip and cauliflower in a small dice.
- Whisk together the dressing. Put the oil, lemon, garlic, sumac and a little salt & pepper in a small bowl & whisk.
- Put everything in a bowl, drizzle over the dressing, mix and serve.
See how it comes together in this short video:
Most can be done in advance as well, if that suits your schedule. The only thing is don’t add the toasted pita in to the salad until you are about to serve as it will probably go soggy.
If you’re wondering what to serve with it, if you’re not feeling more of a stew, then roast chicken or other meats would be perfect. And if you’re not feeling as wintery, this would pair perfectly with some lamb kofte or chicken gyros.
Winter fattoush is a great way to start a meal or as a side. Or 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.
Winter fattoush salad
- 1 pita bread
- 4 leaves romaine lettuce (or green leaf lettuce)
- 1/2 cup parsnip once small dice, 1 medium parsnip (approx 80g once peeled and trimmed)
- 1/2 cup cauliflower once small dice (approx 65g)
- 1/2 apple
- 4 tbsp parsley roughly chopped, a small bunch
- 1/2 lemon juice only
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sumac
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 clove garlic crushed/grated
- salt and pepper a little, to taste
- 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 pita chunks and dressing to the bowl and mix well.
This recipe was originally posted Feb 2015 and has been updated, primarily to update photos and add video.
Try these other salads great for the winter months:
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