To begin with, apologies for the quality of the photo in this post, I hastily snapped it on my phone in rubbish light while I was in the middle of dishing up the meal.
When we go into any kind of Middle Eastern restaurant and order mezze style dishes, Fattoush is one of our must-haves. Yesterday I was putting together a fridge-and-freezer clearing meal of lamb kofte from the freezer, bulghur pilav, tsatziki and a tomato and cucumber salad, when I remembered the stump of sourdough bread in the bread bin. Not wanting to waste a crumb of the lovely bread, I decided to see if I could assemble something resembling fattoush which is normally made using flatbreads.
The version in the photo is rather bread-heavy, as we were very short of tomatoes and cucumber and only had half a shallot, but of course you can vary the proportions according to what you have available (and what you fancy). I didn't add any fresh herbs simply because we had none, but parsley, mint and coriander would all be delicious in this.
2 slices stale sourdough bread
¼ cucumber, diced
a handful of baby plum tomatoes, halved, or use larger tomatoes and chop them
½ a torpedo shallot, finely chopped, or a few slices of red onion
1 tsp dried mint
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbs olive oil
Heat the oven to a low to moderate heat - about 160 C, 325 F gas 3. place the bread on a baking tray and cook for around 10 minutes, turning once, until dry and crisp and beginning to brown. Break and tear into bite sized chunks and allow to cool.
Place the bread in a mixing bowl with the cucumber, tomatoes and shallots/onions, sprinkle over the dried mint and mix well.
Stir in the lemon juice and then the oil, mix well and leave to stand for around 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the dressing, stirring occasionally,
If you are adding fresh herbs, add them immediately before serving.
The lemon and oil dressing seems to emphasise the natural chewiness of the sourdough, making this a substantial and satisfying side dish.
I'm sharing this with the No Waste Food Challenge at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary