William Meppem

Fattouche is a simple garden salad, and a handy way to use up stale pieces of Arabic bread. It is most delicious when the bread pieces are fried, but for a healthier option you can toast or grill them.


Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons sumac
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 medium purple onion, sliced
4 cos lettuce leaves, washed and dried
4 radishes, thickly sliced
2 tomatoes, roughly diced, ripe but firm
2 lebanese cucumbers, cut into chunky dice
1/3 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup purslane, (if available)
1 piece arabic bread
60ml olive oil
60g butter
1 garlic clove, crushed with 1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
40ml extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  1. Soak the sumac in cold water for a few minutes and remove any husks or uncrushed berries which float to the top. Add the sumac, allspice and pepper to the sliced onion, and rub it in well. Cut the cos leaves crossways into 3 cm strips. Place them in a large salad bowl with the radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and all the herb leaves.
  2. Split the bread open and cut it into rough 2 cm triangular shapes. Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan until they are foaming and fry the bread in two batches until it is golden-brown, remove it with a slotted spoon and drain it on absorbent kitchen paper. Mix the garlic paste with the lemon juice. Whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  3. When you are ready to serve, add the spiced onions to the other salad ingredients, add the lemon–garlic mix and stir well. Finally, pour over the dressing, add the pieces of fried bread, mix everything together gently and serve straight away.
Middle East
Middle Eastern
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