Briar Patch Medicine: Fattoush

The herbal treasury that grows in hedges.

| July/August 1997

Serves 6
Ground sumac berries add color and zest to this classic Lebanese salad, perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac berries
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 stale pita breads
  • 1 head romaine or 2 heads Bibb lettuce, shredded
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 green onions, chopped (include the green tops, if you like)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup watercress, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh purslane or sorrel, chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Toast the pita bread in the warming oven until crisp and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and the herbs. Remove the pita bread from the oven, let cool, then break into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Combine the vegetables and the fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add the toasted pita and the dressing, then toss lightly. Serve immediately.

Robert K. Henderson combines his interest in herbs, history, folklore, and research in the articles he writes in Olympia, Washington.

Click here for more great briar patch recipes from the original article, Briar Patch Medicine.

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