Fattoush (Middle Eastern Tomato Salad)
In years when the celebratory month of Ramadan coincided with the summer season and its abundance of fresh produce, my Syrian grandmother often prepared this refreshing salad to break the daily fast and usher in an evening of food and festivity.
- 4 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 each green and yellow bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 2 finely minced fresh garlic cloves
- Handful fresh mint, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup each pitted kalamata olives, marinated red bell pepper strips and crumbled goat or feta cheese
- Juice of 2 to 3 ripe lemons
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
- Pomegranate seeds and dried sumac berries (for garnish)
- Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss lightly.
- To serve, mound on a serving platter and top with day-old sourdough bread, cut into cubes, or lightly toasted pita loaves, torn into bite-size pieces. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and dried, crushed sumac berries (available from Middle Eastern grocers).