When I featured the Iranian Rice meal last week, I promised to give you the authentic Lebanese Humus & Fatoush recipes this week. This is the one and only one way to make Fatoush. Everything else you hear, see, or taste is a western variation. Humus recipe will be featured tomorrow.
First, the vegetables. Fatoush includes: Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, shallots, fresh parsley and fresh mint.
Fatoush does NOT include: green or red peppers, cabbage, carrots, onions, feta, beats or anything else you see restaurants and cookbooks featuring in Fatoush.
There are four steps to making Fatoush.
1. Chop the vegetables into salad size pieces and mix together in a large bowl.
2. Mix in the dressing that includes lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Garlic, as far as I know, has no place in authentic Fatoush.
3. Grill pita bread, crush into 1 inch pieces and add on top of the vegetable mix.
4. Sprinkle with generous portions of sumac.
You can buy sumac from any middle eastern or Persian stores in the city. It is the fruit of sumac trees ground into powder and used in cooking across many cultures. Lebanese use is primarily as garnish to Fatoush to enhance the lemony taste.
It is much more widely used in Iranian and Turkish cooking. More on sumac at http://en.wikipedia.org/Sumac.
It is important not to mix the Fatoush until you are ready to serve it or the pita will become soggy and you'd miss out on the crunchiness of the pita. Try it and enjoy.