Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Finally Fattoush!

Fattoush is a Middle Eastern bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables. This salad is very popular here in Cleveland as we have a wonderful chain of Lebanese restaurants. Yes, I know last week I said I didn't want to eat in any restaurant in Cleveland, but there is one exception called Aladdin's Eatery. They make this incredible Fattoush salad that I ate for years thinking it must be healthy and low in calories, until . . .

that day when I found out that one Aladdin's Fattoush Salad had 1018 calories. I was shocked. Floored. Angry.

How could something that seemed so healthy be so high calorie? Incidentally, when I researched the calorie count of the salad for this blog posting, I saw that Aladdin's has added the calorie count of the Fattoush Salad without the dressing to their nutritional information menu. Lose the dressing and the salad comes in at a much more reasonable 293 calories.

But who wants to eat a salad without dressing? Not me.

I have been dreaming about experimenting with my own oil-free version of a Fattoush for a few years now, but somehow didn't get around to it until this past weekend. What a mistake! I should have made this years ago. It's a wonderful. delicious and unique salad and best of all, I don't need to miss it anymore!

Finally My No-oil Fattoush Salad
Serves a crowd, reduce ingredients by half if you want less salad!

print me!

3 whole wheat pita breads, cut into 4 strips each
2 cups medium dice cucumbers
2 cups medium dice tomatoes
1 1/2 cups medium dice green pepper (1 large green pepper)
2 cups medium dice red onion (use less or none at all if you do not like raw onion)
1 cup chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1 cup chopped fresh mint
3 cloves garlic, pressed
5 Tbsp Za'atar (you many have to order this online from a source like Penzey's or make your own, but again, you might need to order the spice Sumac from an online source like My Spice Sage)
juice of 4 small lemons
dash of salt
3 hearts of romaine or one large head of romaine lettuce, washed, dried and chopped

Lay all of the cut pita bread onto the rack of a toaster oven and toast until very crispy. Watch that the pita does not burn. Remove from toaster and let cool until you can handle pita. Crumble into medium-large pieces.

Place all other ingredients, cucumber through salt, into a large bowl and gently stir to combine. Stir in toasted pita chips.

Place lettuce in a large bowl or onto a large platter. Top with cucumber/tomato/pita mix. Toss before serving.

Have you made a memorable salad lately? Tell us about it!
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