Have I mentioned how much I love visiting The Spice Merchant? Every so often I stop in to see if I can get inspiration from a spice I have never tried or sometimes I go in search of a spice with a dish already in mind. On the weekend I picked up Za’atar.
This salad is another great way to use the best summer ingredients you have in your garden or from local farmers. This dish is a typical lebanese salad that is served on hot days and since we are finally having some great weather in Calgary, this is a perfect side to grilled chicken, beef or lamb.
Typically Fattoush has pita bread in it but I left it out and added chunks of buttery avocado instead. It would also be great with raw flax crackers broken into chunks but I didn’t have any. The ingredient that makes this salad so amazing is the addition of the Mediterranean spice Za’atar which includes a ground berry called sumac. Sumac berries grow in the Mediterranean and parts of the Middle East and are used in cooking just as we use lemon; to add acidity. The majority of the other spices are thyme and sesame seeds, as well as oregano and marjoram. This spice is magic added to this simple summer vegetable salad. The most important thing to remember when making this salad is to add a lot of parsley and mint; not just a sprinkle.
I made a small bowl but if you are feeding more increase the ingredients.
Fattoush Salad with Za’atar and avocado
inspired by My New Roots
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced in rounds and then halfed
- 5 -7 small tomatoes, sliced in quarters
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 bunch mint, chopped
- 3 – 4 green onions
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 avocado, cut into chunks
- 1 tsp Za’atar seasoning plus more to sprinkle on top
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
- 1 tsp raw honey
- sprinkle of sea salt
- a pinch of pepper
Start by making the dressing in a medium bowl. Mix everything in the bowl and taste seasoning.
Chop vegetables and herbs and add to the dressing. Fold in avocado and let sit for 20 -30 minutes before serving.