This is one of my go-to salads I pull out on a regular basis. It's one of those perfect-for-a-potluck kind of salads. And it's straight up easy, my friends. Don't be fooled by the seemingly long list of ingredients! Sure, it's a chopped salad which means you'll be chopping, but consider chopping a meditative activity. I use this time to also think of those who will be eating this salad, and have often wondered if that energy makes its way into the food at all. Maybe yes, maybe no, regardless, I think this salad was a hit tonight.
During this month of salads challenge I threw myself at the end of May, I knew this one would make an appearance. I knew it would somehow tie in to having a meal at someone else's house. And lo and behold, here we are on Day 16 and my re-jigged version of this Ottolenghi classic Na'ama's Fattoush Recipe from Jerusalem: A Cookbook makes an appearance. As Sunday was the Solstice, a friend gathered like-minded folks to celebrate and share a meal with great conversations while children run amok amongst us. These nights are favourites of mine: it seems I am so fortunate to always meet such interesting folks who really are doing fascinating work and have good stories to tell. This friend of mine, sweet Carmen, well she has a talent when it comes to curating a fabulous list of people for a dinner party. I just feel so lucky to be included in such good circles. And the food! The food! It always involves a BBQ something or other, and we all bring salad. In fact, at tonight's gathering we talked about starting a First-Sunday-of-the-month-Supper-Club kind of deal, the company and food was so fabulous. COUNT. US. IN.
Our contribution to the evening (aside from the perpetual jar of Creme Fraiche I seem to bring with me everywhere!) was a version of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Fattoush recipe, probably originating from Sami's mom, or so the legend goes. Follow the link below for the full recipe. My alterations: I only did half of the dressing ingredients, and mixed all of those together instead of adding them to the actual salad. I used only yogurt, no milk (because I like me the fermented things, see?), and whizzed it with the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and dried mint. If you're in Calgary, you can find Sumac at Shaganappi Grocer, on the south side of 17th Ave SW, just west of 36th St.
My veggies were a bit different, I added the tomato, radishes, cucumbers, green onions and fresh mint in the recipe, but I added a whole bunch of parsley instead of a smidge, threw in some chives from the garden and a half a fennel. I just love the crunchy anise taste of the fennel. It's like a celery I can actually like, nay, love.
I also omitted the pita bread. I suppose this means it is no longer a Fattoush salad and maybe just a chopped salad. Whatever it is, it's such a refreshing salad, I could eat this one for days.
Thank you for the invitation for our family to join the gaggles of folks at your house, Carmen and Jim. And thank you to the constant inspirations from the London-based Ottolenghi restaurant and cookbooks.