Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Pronounced "Fah-toosh"
No, not fat toosh. Quite the contrary. :)

One of my favorite foods is Lebanese food. Mediterranean food. All the same.
Oddly? I have an interesting and somewhat connected fascination with Egypt. Most of the egyptian diet was based on the same basic food components: Chick peas, fresh vegetables, lemon, garlic, parsley, olive oil, grains. So not only do I love Mediterranean food, I think I could live in Egypt. Minus the fact that I would be in the minority there as an obvious American-white-girl with a pricey camera. Probably not taking the Egyptian trip of my dreams anytime soon. Someday, I hope to... before I am too old to climb the pyramids.

In the summer I love to make this salad and sit on the front porch and just enjoy the simple fact that this is another summer, on this porch with this wonderful salad. It's soooo fresh. Soooo good for you. People that know me know that I love this sort of food. If you come into town to visit me, chances are I will take you to Elia's, the local Mediterranean restaurant and probably my fav restaurant EVER. Contact info for Elia's here. I would introduce you to the owner, Helen (she is gorgeous, I swear Lebanese women ALL are!) We would try hummus, baba ganouche, tabouli and I would absolutely ask you to check my teeth for remnants when we are done eating. Sooo worth the exceptional food to deal with 1). smelling like garlic for a day and 2). dealing with parsley in your teeth.

So, here is one of my ALL-TIME favorite recipes for salad EVER. I hope you make it and enjoy it like I do. I am one of those cooks that sorta goes most the time, recipe-less. So give or take a few dashes... and voila! or... 'Ktiir mniihv' for verrrrrry good in Lebanese.

Tomato quartered
Cucumber, seeded and peeled, chopped
Onion sliced thin
Fresh Parsley, chopped
Fresh Mint, chopped - if you have it
Grilled Chicken, chopped (marinated w/ lemon, salt, garlic and oil)

1 lemon squeezed
3/4 c. EVOO
1 tsp. dried mint
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt or to taste
Fresh ground pepper
Pinch of Sumac - if you can find it it'll be in a farmer's market spice shop. It's red and it's not poisonous - though there is a plant in the states that is - Sumac is a spice commonly used in Mediterranean food. :)
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed

Shake or whip the dressing ingredients till it thickens.
Pour over salad. Opt. top with baked pita chips or serve w/ fresh pita bread.

Left: Fatoush with chicken and dressing. Right, Jasmine rice with grilled, marinated portobello mushroom.

Fatoush served with mint iced tea.