I met a wonderful woman named Gloria (affectionately known as Glo) a month or so ago and we finally ate together this week. She has her own blog about food, music and things she loves and has been tempting me with talk about her Arabic (Palestinian) foods and flavours and I was in absolute seventh taste bud heaven when Glo invited me around for lunch. She made a BIG bowl of Fattoush and while she prepared the salad, heated up a piece (or three!) of pita bread on the stove for me to try Lebneh, which she poured olive oil over, Za'atar which is an amazing combo of spices and her home-made Hummus (one tip for all ye out there; never, ever invite me around and distract me with food while you're doing the cooking!!!!) OMG! I was soooooo excited I almost wet my pants over the party that was happening in my mouth!
Arabic cooking uses lots of spices, similar to Indian cooking but without the heavy cooking time. It is super fresh and light and mainly served as Mezza, which is the Arabic version of Tapas. I must admit that Glo's Hummus put mine to shame, and I have always been proud of mine! More oil, more garlic and more lemon next time!
Above is what I ate while Glo was chopping. To the left is Glo's amazing Hummus and to the right is the Lebneh spread onto a piece of pita bread and then dipped into the Za'atar...YUM!!!! (I must remember to take a photo before diving right in!)
So I've decided to share Glo's recipe for Fattoush Salad. It is really simple to make but what gives it something special is the Sumac spice powder. You will be able to find this in most spice stores.
Glo's Fattoush Salad
What you need;
4 small pita breads
4 Roma lettuce
2 organic tomatoes
2 Persian (Lebanese) cucumbers
10 small spring onions
2 bunches of curly leaf parsley
1 bunch of mint
3/4 lemon juice
3/4 olive oil
4 tsp ground Sumac
salt and pepper to taste
Start by placing the pita breads into an oven on a med to high heat while you're chopping and preparing the salad. Keep an eye on it so you don't burn them!
Chop the lettuce, tomatoes cucumber and spring onions as shown in the pics above. Add it all into a big bowl and set aside.
To make the dressing, chop the parsley with a Mezzaluna knife if you have one, into smallish pieces. Do them same with the mint. Add to the oil and lemon juice that is in a cup and stir in the sumac, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Break the pita bread into small bite size pieces and add to the awaiting salad. Pour the herb dressing over the salad and toss. Place the salad into individual servings and sprinkle with a little more Sumac.
I'm really loving cooking with other people so if you out there have an amazing vegetarian dish (preferably vegan) that you would like to share with me and be a feature in an upcoming post, send me a message and we'll work out a day of pure eating indulgence!!!! For all you in the States, I'm only here for another two weeks before I return home, so get to it! Those in Australia, start booking me in for a lunch date after the 30th of March and let's eat!