A first time visit to the Fremantle Farmers Market this morning resulted in an uncommon succulent score: purslane. This means Fattoush for lunch; a delicious Lebanese bread-based salad that traditionally includes purslane and sumac. Sumac is a dried berry that is ground and has a tangy lemony taste and purslane is a common garden weed from the Portulaca family, also known as pigweed and has thick succulent crunchy leaves. There are as many recipes for Fattoush as there are ‘Garden Salad’. I like the flatbread either baked or charred from the grill and a lemony vinaigrette style dressing rather than a yoghurt-based.
2 pita bread, torn into large pieces
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
1 sml Continental cucumber, quartered & thickly sliced
1 punnet mixed coloured cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves
2 med ripe tomatoes, quartered & thickly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
½ red capsicum, seeded & roughly diced
½ sml iceberg lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
½ white salad onion, thinly sliced
1 cup purslane (optional)
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
½ cup mint leaves, torn
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp sweet paprika
3 tsp ground sumac (optional)
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200˚C. Place the torn pieces of pita bread on an oven tray and drizzle over the olive oil on both sides. Bake in the oven 10 minutes until golden and crisp and then break into bite-sized pieces. Alternately, place the whole pita bread on a hot open barbecue grill until a little charred and crispy and then tear into pieces.
- Crush the garlic and salted together in a mortar and pestle until creamy. Stir in the sweet paprika, sumac, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to make a thick dressing.
- Place all the prepared salad vegetables, purslane, parsley and mint into a large bowl and toss with the toasted pita bread and dressing.