Choueir Fatoush

Serves 6

Choueir Fatoush

Every Lebanese meal I have enjoyed has included a version of Fatoush. A great side to a spicy entrée, this salad is quick to assemble. The distinct flavors of Fatoush are achieved by two must have ingredients, sumac and pomegranate molasses. Both can be found in international groceries or ordered on line at Amazon. Using a bit of red wine vinegar seems to soften the citrus bite of the lemon juice. The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Purslane leaves provide a bit of a bitter slant but can easily be replaced with sorrel or simply add additional romaine lettuce.

Pomegranate Dressing

2 t ground sumac
2 t warm water
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 ½ T pomegranate molasses
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 t red wine vinegar
1/2 T fresh mint, chopped fine
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
¼-½ t kosher salt

Salad

2 8” pita breads
2 ½ T extra virgin olive oil
¼ t kosher salt
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 English cucumber or several small pickling cucumbers
1 green onion, sliced thin
1/2 head romaine lettuce heart
1 c flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 c purslane, leaves or sorrel or additional romaine lettuce
½ c fresh mint, roughly chopped

Flavor Tier 1

Combine sumac with warm water. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Flavor Tier 2

In a small bowl, place the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, garlic, both vinegars and the fresh mint. Blend well. Add sumac and soaking water. Whisk in oil gradually until well combined. Salt to taste. Add additional molasses if a sweeter flavor is desired or lemon juice if a tarter flavor is desired

Flavor Tier 3

Split the pita bread in half. Brush one side of each disc with the 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place discs on sheet and evenly sprinkle with salt. Place baking sheet into oven for 7-10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Place discs on paper towels to cool. Once cooled, break into 1” shards or cut with pizza cutter. Place shards into a small bowl and add the ¼ c olive oil. Stir to mix. Set aside.

Flavor Tier 4

Place the diced tomatoes in a large bowl. Cut the cucumbers into quarters and cut into thin slices crosswise. Place cucumbers into the serving bowl and add the green onions. Cut romaine lettuce crosswise into ¾ inch pieces and add to the serving bowl. Cut the purslane or sorrel or the additional romaine into ¾” strips and add to the serving bowl. Roughly chop the fresh mint and add to the serving bowl. Mix.

To Serve

Evenly divide the salad mix between 6 serving plates. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing over each.