I hate salads that taste like a pile of grass. I’m more of a caesar salad person – sure, I like some leaves, but I prefer them crunchy, and then I want a whole heap of non-salad items in there, like bacon, eggs, bread and cheese. Or maybe a complete lack of leaves, like in a greek salad – again, with the cheese, and something tangy like olives. But just don’t serve me weeds – ugh.
This region has a famous salad, and I’d never heard of it before I arrived – but now I order it everywhere. I’m on my own special mission to find the best Fattoush (also fatoush, fattush and probably a myriad of other spellings) that can be found in Dubai. So far, it’s a war between Bayt al Wakeel on the Bur Dubai side of the creek in the middle of the Old Souk, and Tagine, at the One and Only Royal Mirage.
Fattoush‘s wonderful addition is fried bread. It’s like an arabic crouton, but better, and I make mine in the oven and they taste just as good. These croutons are so awesome, I eat half of them before I even make the salad. But the salad is pretty good too – it’s fresh, aromatic, colourful and crunchy.
- radishes, a small bunch – sliced
- 1 lebanese cucumber – sliced or diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced (or use half a punnet of tiny cherry tomatoes like I did)
- fresh mint, loosely chopped
- fresh thyme, loosely chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp good balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sumac (finely grated lemon rind is a poor substitute)
- salt and pepper
- 1 slice small pita bread, cut into small squares
- canola oil – a good slurp
- in a 150ᵒC oven, place a tray with the bread tossed through with canola oil and salt, and cook until golden brown (about 10 minutes)
- combine other ingredients in a bowl and toss (or arrange prettily as I have)
- When bread is cool, add on top of the salad, and sprinkle extra sumac for garnish.
This salad is also amazing thrown in a pita shell with a big dollop of natural yoghurt.