Note: I added a couple of ingredients that might not currently be in your spice rack, but I highly recommend putting them there.
Sumac (yes, as in posion sumac, but no, it won't be poisonous) is commonly used in Middle Eastern recipes, especially fattoush. It comes from dried, ground sumac berries, and gives any dish a tart, earthy flavor; I've used it in spice rubs for BBQ ribs with amazing results. It might be a bit hard to find in your regular grocery aisle, but tracking it down at a specialty store is well worth it.
Harissa is a smoky North African condiment that adds punch (and bright red color) to anything. Usually a paste made with a base of chilies and peppery spices like cumin and coriander, harissa is also available in your grocery aisle as a powdered spice blend. Here, I've sprinkled it on the pita for an extra layer of flavor. Although good luck not eating half of the toasted pita chips before you're done with the salad. You've been warned.
If you want to substitute, dried mint or dried oregano could be a good stand-in for either spice. The pita chips can be toasted with just olive oil, salt and pepper, and while the sumac adds to the dressing, it can also be enjoyed without it. Almost no two fattoush salads are the same; so adding in extra herbs or vegetables would be most welcome.
About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at TheSuzChef.com and on twitter @the_suzchef
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- Yield:serves 2
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 20 minutes
- 2 pocketless whole-wheat pitas or 1 fat pita pocket halved horizontally, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon harissa spice blend (see note above)
- 2 cups quartered heirloom cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 small cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1 bunch radishes, leaves separated, washed, dried, and roughly chopped (about 1 cup), radishes thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac (see note above)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss pita pieces with 1 tablespoon oil and harissa. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp, but still a little chewy, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool. Transfer to airtight container.
Mix together tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, radish greens, and radishes. Place into large colander set over bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Let vegetables drain for 1 hour at room temperature, or cover with plastic and drain overnight in refrigerator. Meanwhile, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, sumac, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour into fine mesh sieve set over small bowl. Let drain at room temperature for 1 hour, or cover with plastic and drain overnight in refrigerator.
Mix together vegetables, yogurt dressing and toasted pita. Mix in some of the drained vegetable juices if too thick. Eat immediately, or pack into airtight container to go.