sharing recipes from one generation to the next
A rustic bread salad is one of life’s simple pleasures. I could live on the delicious juices that flow from salted cut ripe tomatoes and cucumbers, add some torn day old homemade sourdough and you have a meal.
Leftover sourdough flabreads from last week’s recipe inspired me to try out the Lebanese fattoush from “Jerusalem” by Ottolenghi and Tamimi. “Jerusalem” is my book of choice to cook from for February.
Panzanella, an Italian style bread salad is a firm favourite on our week night dinner table over summer and as the season is just right for full flavoured tomatoes, cucumbers and soft leafed herbs I thought it was worth trying an alternative.
I was intrigued by the method of producing a mild homemade buttermilk for the salad by combining and fermenting milk and yoghurt. This needs to be started the day before, but other than that, despite the long list of ingredients the method for putting this salad together is very straightforward, chopped vegetables and herbs, torn bread and a well balanced dressing.
In deference to the gut friendly diet I follow, I made one minor adjustment to the recipe, replacing 2 garlic cloves and a little of the dressing oil with some garlic infused olive oil.
I halved the recipe to serve just the two of us, the amount it made was still very generous. I was reluctant to drown the salad in the buttermilk mixture so I used only half the amount when I mixed the salad in the bowl. I served the remainder on the side but we both thought that adding extra was unnecessary. Na’ama’s Fattoush has an appealing fresh and slightly acidic flavour, it was the perfect lunch for a hot summer’s day
Move over Panzanella, Na’ama’s Fattoush is stealing the limelight.
note: I intended to add a link to my version of Panzanella but it seems I’ve never shared it with you. While the tomatoes are at their best I’ll put that right.
200g natural Greek yoghurt
OR 400mls buttermilk to replace both of the above
2 large stale Turkish flatbreads about 250g
3 large ripe tomatoes cut into 1.5cm dice
100g radishes, thinly sliced
3 Lebanese cucumbers cut into 1.5cm dice
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
15g fresh mint leaves,
25g fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon dried mint
50 mis olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic infused oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon ground sumac
extra olive oil for drizzling
If using yoghurt and milk, start at least 3 hours or up to a day in advance by placing both in a bowl. Whisk well then leave in a cool place or in the fridge until bubbles form on the surface. What you get is a sort of home-made buttermilk but less sour.
Tear the bread into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the fermented yoghurt mixture or buttermilk, followed by the rest of the ingredients.
Toss the salad well then set the bowl aside for 10 minutes for all the flavours to combine
Spoon the fattoush into serving bowls, drizzle over extra olive oil and sprinkle with sumac.