Lessons in fattoush

I love the fattoush salad served in Mediterranean restaurants, but have never been able to perfect the combination of ingredients to get the right flavor at home. My dad recommended this recipe to me and sent me home with the ingredients I was missing. He really wanted me to try it.

I tried it that night, and followed the recipe pretty much exactly, except I added Feta cheese (the recipe didn’t call for cheese of any kind). When I was putting in the mint, Jan looked over my shoulder and said, “that’s a lot of mint,” to which I repied, “It’s in the recipe!”

Well, when it was time to eat the salad, he was right. The salad probably would have been much better with less mint, or, without any of it, which I think I’ll probably do next time.

The dressing, however, was amazing, and I had never used Sumac before (Dad sent me home with a little bag of it). I’m now convinced it must be the secret ingredient to get the authentic taste I was missing in earlier attempts.

Here’s the recipe for the dressing:

Sumac salad dressing

1 clove garlic

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Sumac

1/4 cup olive oil


Use a garlic press or finely chop the garlic, then mash with the salt in a bowl with the back of a spoon. Add the lemon juice, Sumac, and olive oil and whisk together. Store until ready to serve.