“Fattoush” from “Happy Salads”

IMG_9332Fattoush is delicious. It’s like the Arab version of the Italian bread salad– Panzanella for those keeping score at home– but it’s got its own twist, in this case, by using radishes with sumac and pita, rather than olive oil and stale Italian bread.

I’ve made fattoush before, mostly using the recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s seminal cookbook, “Jerusalem.” His version differs in that you make a buttermilk dressing to soak the bread in before assembling the salad.

The thing I liked about this version was it seemed slightly more straightforward and requiring fewer ingredients than the “Jerusalem” version, but I just went back and compared the two and the “Happy Salads” version actually has two more ingredients. So I’m not sure why I have that impression, but I do.

Both recipes have you do a bit of a faff about bread. In “Jerusalem” you soak the bread in buttermilk for a few hours. In “Happy Salads,” you toast the pita bread and then fry it in olive oil and dust it with sumac. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not fry it; I only toasted it and then sprinkled some sumac over the salad.

Both versions are delicious. I like them both in different ways, so I’ll call it a tie. The next time I make fattoush, the version I use will probably come down to which cookbook I find first.

Highly recommended.

“Fattoush” from “Happy Salads”

“Broad Bean Puree with Feta Relish and Cumin Flatbread” and “Lamb Kebabs with Georgian Adzhika” from “A Change of Appetite”

CBAMLambKebabsMaureen: Let me tell you, this dinner truly was a labour of love.

Tim: What do you mean?

Maureen: Well, first I had to pod the broad beans. Then, after I cooked them, I had to take the skin off. Diana Henry even says, “It’s a bit of a pain at first, but quite soothing when you get into a rhythm.” Respectfully, I disagree. It’s just a pain. I never found it soothing.

Nicholas (10): I like the pita.

Tim: I’m not so sure about the pita. I think we have other recipes for flatbread that were better.

Maureen: I’m with you on that. These are fine, but we’ve made better. The fact that it took yeast and needed a few hours for it to rise was a real minus.

Andrew: The kebabs are good.

Maureen: I agree. They’re nice. I also like the feta relish– that’s delicious. This other stuff [pause to look up the name] the Georgian adzhika is also good.

Tim: Did that take long to make?

Maureen: Nope. That was a quick whizz in the food processor.

Tim: So what do you think?

Maureen: I would make again everything but the pita and the broad beans. The pita is just OK and I lost the will to live making the broad beans.

Tim: Agreed.

“Broad Bean Puree with Feta Relish and Cumin Flatbread” and “Lamb Kebabs with Georgian Adzhika” from “A Change of Appetite”