If you'd like to be famous in life, make this Middle-Eastern salad next time you have company over. By then end of the first course, your guests will be falling all over themselves to compliment you. They'll be live-tweeting their meal. They'll call their loved ones to rave about the meal they're having. It will go viral. Paparazzi will start following you. The President will call you for advice in matters of great national importance. Sexy young underwear models will throw themselves at your feet when they realize that you're the Fattoush guy. Your whole life will change. That's the power of this salad. You've been warned.
If you forget to leave the pita out overnight, you can pan-fry it. Heat a frying pan with vegetable oil over medium heat. Fry the pita until nice and golden brown but not burned. Pat off excess oil, allow to cool, and use as you would the day-old stuff.
Also, this is a salad that must be served fresh. It won’t keep for even a few hours, let alone overnight. So if you don’t think you’ll eat enough of it fresh after making, then cut the recipe in half.
Prep time: 1 cocktail
1/2 cup high quality, first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 pieces pita bread, left out to dry overnight, torn into small pieces
1 small head romaine lettuce, cut into shreds
1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then sliced thinly
1 pound plum, cherry, or garden heirloom tomatoes chopped
4 scallions, chopped
2 TBSP dried ground sumac
½ cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
3 ounces crumbled feta (optional, but highly recommended)
1 medium diced orange bell pepper or a handful of sliced radishes (optional)
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (optional)
Prepare the dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk well and set aside for a few minutes.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Top with dressing and mix well. Serve right away.