The Fattoush platter recipe turns the oriental bread salad into a party


Fattoush record

Total time:35 minutes

Servings:6 to 8 (makes 12 cups)

Total time:35 minutes

Servings:6 to 8 (makes 12 cups)


Language evolves, recipes too. This one provides an example of both.

Creating it – and even more so writing it – kept reminding me of an old friend, a former copy editor who, like many of us, might be a bit pedantic. I especially thought how every time food writers in our publication described the restaurant trend of reconstructing a dish into its component parts, it would blow up if they dared to use the word “deconstruct” or any of its forms to use. Deconstruction should refer only to the specific form of literary and philosophical analysis that bears the name, he argued, not simply to the idea of ​​breaking something down into its parts.

As much as I like to uphold some traditional notions of language – don’t get me started with “literal” for example – I never bought this one. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never delved into literary or philosophical analysis like he has, but I’ve never understood the perniciousness of more informal use. More importantly, I could never think of a better term to quickly convey to most readers (especially those without a philosophy degree) that, for example, a pastry chef played with the mold by using separate dollops of lemon curd, marshmallow cream, and shortbread as “Limonene.” meringue cake.”

Anyway, no offense John, but the recipe I’m looking forward to this week is a deconstructed fattoush, the Middle Eastern bread salad. Traditionally made with leftover pita, seasonal vegetables and a spicy sumac dressing, fattoush is as popular throughout the Levant as panzanella is in Italy.

I always think of Fattoush as a casual affair that throws together what looks good. In her beautiful new cookbook, In Praise of Veg, Alice Zaslavsky takes the casual approach even further: Rather than layering or tossing the fattoush, she suggests using its elements — tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, toasted pita chips, and a lemon dressing — to arrange. in separate stacks on a large platter and let your guests mix and match as they please. To add some protein and qualify it as an entree, I like to add a bunch of chickpeas — a legume popular not only in my house but in Fattoush’s home country as well.

Since the idea here is that everyone at the table can make whatever salad they want and piece together their perfect bites, so maybe “deconstruct” isn’t the right word after all. You can recreate Fattoush with this recipe.

Get ahead: The pita chips can be made and kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days before preparing the platter.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate for up to 5 days, preferably with the pitas and dressing separate from the rest of the salad.

Where to buy: Sumac is available in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and international grocery stores, as well as online.

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  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, preferably a mix of shapes, sizes and colors, seeded and cut into rings and/or wedges if necessary
  • 3 to 4 small cucumbers (12 ounces total), sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can unsalted chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1/2 medium red onion (3 ounces), finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac (can substitute za’atar spice mix)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • 4 small flatbreads or 2 large flatbreads (6 ounces), cut into triangles
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Prepare the salad: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper until combined. Taste and season with more salt and/or pepper as needed.

Arrange the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, chickpeas and onion on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with sumac and drizzle with 1/4 cup of the dressing.

Make the Crispy Pita: While the salad is sitting and the flavors are melding, toss and spread the pita triangles on a large, rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil. Roast for about 10 minutes, turning as needed, until golden and crispy.

Arrange the pita triangles on the plate. Sprinkle with the herbs and serve with the lemon slices and the remaining dressing.

Per serving (1 1/2 cups), based on 8

Calories: 299; total fat: 19 g; Saturated fat: 3 g; cholesterol: 0 mg; sodium: 290 mg; carbohydrates: 30 g; fiber: 5 g; sugar: 6 g; Protein: 6 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a nutritionist or nutritionist.

Adapted from “Vegetable Praise” by Alice Zaslavsky (Appetite, 2022).

Tested by Joe Yonan; email questions [email protected].

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