I’ve been devouring Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cook book at the moment. Jerusalem,The Holy City, fought over by nations and religious groups, a melting pot of culture, ethnicity, language, religion and cuisine. It seems to be a vibrant patchwork quilt of traditions. What a fascinating place it must be!
So I am inspired to use middle eastern flavours and traditional dishes. Today I had a friend for lunch. We had Fattoush, served with lightly pan-fried fish.
Fattoush is an Arabian salad, typically made with diced vegetables, yoghurt, spices and leftover pita bread (which soaks up the juices, similar to croutons). I wanted to avoid grains in our meal today, and so created a delicious alternative using toasted seeds in place of the bread. The result was crunchy, juicy and satisfying. The texture of the toasted seeds are a wonderful contrast to the juicy vegetables, and mop up the spicy yoghurt dressing more-than-adequately.
1/2C acidophilus Greek yoghurt
1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and diced
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 C diagonally sliced spring onion
Handful mint leaves, finely diced
Handful parsley, roughly chopped
Large handful of baby lettuce leaves, shredded
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of half a lemon
2T apple cider vinegar
3T Arabic spices of your choice – I used cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, coriander, nutmeg
1/4t chilli powder
1/2C toasted sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds
Pepper and salt to taste
Place all diced vegetables and herbs in a bowl, apart from the baby lettuce.
In a separate bowl, combine the garlic, yoghurt, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar together to make a dressing.
Pour the dressing over the vegetables.
Add the spices and seeds, season with salt and pepper, and now stir to combine. Add the shredded lettuce and gently stir again to distribute evenly.