Une salade comme on n’en voit pas tous les jours!
Today I’m sharing another salad as part of my Work Lunches series (I will compile all these recipes into one post once the series is over), and this one is a deliciously fresh, flavour-packed chopped salad, inspired by the classic Fattoush salad. The flavour in this dish comes from both the Lemon-Sumac Dressing and the spice mix I’ve used to coat the croutons: za’atar.
Za’atar is a delicious Middle-Eastern spice blend, usually made with sumac, sesame seeds, and a mix of green herbs such as thyme and oregano. It is available at Middle Eastern grocers and well-stocked supermarkets, but if you can’t find any, it is easy to make your own. Just toast up some sesame seeds in a fry pan, and combine them with sumac, thyme, basil, oregano, or whatever else you might feel like. The internet is full of recipes for it, so have a browse and see what other herb combinations you come across. You can keep any leftovers in a jar for a month or so – there are no shortage of ways to use za’atar. You’ll soon find yourself sprinkling it over salads, eggs, shakshouka, hummus, roasted meats, etc.
I first made this for a dinner party a few months ago, and since then it has quickly become one of my favourite salads to make. It’s so easy to throw together, so it’s great for lunch or as a side-dish at dinner. The crisp freshness of the lettuce and capsicum contrasts nicely with the juiciness of the cucumber and tomatoes,. The parsley, za’atar and dressing all add great flavour, and the garlic-oil drenched croutons are so crunchy and delicious, you’ll find yourself going back for more every time! The dressing is deliciously lemony and tangy (thanks to the mixture of vinegar, lemon juice and sumac), and really takes the whole thing from a boring-chopped-salad to an amazing-mouthwatering-wonder-salad. Yep, I just said wonder-salad. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Other things you might like to consider adding to this salad include chopped fresh radishes (for that peppery hit) and celery (for extra crunch).
Leave me a message in the comments below letting me know how the salad turned out for you, and whether you’ve ever cooked with za’atar. I’m always curious to know how other people use different ingredients – everyone has a couple of family recipes/cooking tips up their sleeves!