I’ve had Fattoush on my mind lately.
There’s really not a better salad to feature all the lovely vegetables and herbs that are in season now at the farmer’s market in Florida. Fattoush is less about the lettuce than it is about the fresh cucumbers, mint, radishes, and the nice crunch of toasted pita lightly covered in a lemony-vinaigrette. But the secret flavor in Fattoush is sumac. If you’re not familiar, sumac is a deep-red dried powdered herb that gives many Middle Eastern dishes that flavor that makes you pucker a little, and come back for more. It tastes tart, a little like lemon but less astringent. It is also the secret ingredient in Zaatar - a spice mix of thyme, sesame seed and sumac that is made into a paste with olive oil and spread on pita for a true party for your taste buds! If you have Zaatar but not sumac at home, you can substitute it in this recipe.
If you are in St. Petersburg and wondering where to get sumac, Zaatar and pomegranate molasses.. Cedar’s market on 54th Ave N, near 65th St. has it. If you’re in Sarasota, try Sahara restaurant on 41, just north of Bahia Vista.
To make this recipe gluten-free, I used Sami’s Millet and Flax pita chips. Sami’s is a Tampa-based bakery that supplies a lot of our local stores with great vegan and gluten-free baked goods.
1 head romaine lettuce (or similar lettuce), chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
6 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 red onion, sliced thin (optional)
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
Several large gluten-free pita chips (Sami’s millet and flax chips), broken in pieces
1 t sumac
4 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl, add the rest of the salad ingredients. Sprinkle sumac over everything and toss.