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Madhvi’s Fattoush Salad

Fattoush Salad

My version of the famous Middle Eastern Salad is a far cry from the original, but it has become a firm favourite with me and most of my friends – I’ll give my adaptation of it, and the original recipe as well.

Serves 6 Preparation time 20 mins Cost per portion £0.93

1. Dice the peppers, cucumber and tomatoes into roughly ¼ inch pieces and put it all into a large salad bowl.
2. Finely chop the spring onion and parsley and put them on top of the vegetables in the bowl.
3.  Mix the dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake well, then pour on top of all the vegetables  when you are ready to serve the salad.
4. Finally, sprinkle the pine nuts on top, and mix everything well before serving.

Salad Ingredients
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
6 spring onions (white part only)
Half a cucumber
3 medium sized tomatoes
1 small bunch curly parsley
100 g pine nuts

Dressing Ingredients
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
25 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. juice of half a lemon)
25 mls white wine vinegar, cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Colman’s mint sauce
1 clove crushed garlic (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
1 – 3 teaspoons of caster sugar (I always put 3)

Additional information
This salad has a very fresh taste and is liked even by people who don’t normally eat salads.

The dressing keeps well in the fridge for several days, and the salad keeps well (without the dressing) for one or two days only.

I first came upon this salad when having dinner at a friend’s place – I know it is available in most Lebanese restaurants, but I had never ordered it because I am not a huge fan of salads. The original recipe doesn’t have pine nuts; instead it has pieces of pitta bread which are made crunchy by drying them out in an oven. Also, Middle Eastern recipes use fresh mint, but the friend who gave me this recipe uses Colman’s sauce, and it tastes amazing in this dressing. I have tried making it without the Colman’s sauce and with fresh mint instead and it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good.

Actually, one of the reasons why I first used pine nuts was because I was feeling lazy and couldn’t be bothered to go through the process of drying out the pitta bread in an oven – pine nuts seemed like an easy, healthy and tasty alternative! Having subsequently found out about the nutritional benefits of pine nuts, I now routinely use them.

Pine nuts are extremely nutritious, have antioxidant properties and are higher in fibre than your average breakfast cereal. Also, they contain high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, arginine, magnesium and potassium, all of which can assist in preventing heart disease; they are a good source of vitamin B2, vitamin E and zinc; they help reduce cholesterol and last but not least, they also work as an appetite suppressant through their effect on satiety hormones. Quite a long list of benefits! Instinctively, I feel pine nuts must be good for you as they have historically been very widely used – from Middle Eastern cooking to Italian pesto to being used in Ancient Greece as an aphrodisiac.

Original Recipe Ingredients:

The original recipe doesn’t have any sugar, vinegar or red pepper, but does have the following ingredients as well as the ones listed above – flat leaf parsley, lettuce, fresh mint, crispy pitta bread pieces, and sumac – a middle eastern spice. If you want to use pitta bread, then tear the bread up roughly into 1 inch squares and dry them out in an oven at 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes. If they are not crisp after 20 minutes in the oven, put them back for another 5 or 10 mins, but be careful as they do go from crisp to burnt very quickly.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition per 100g per portion RDA women RDA men RDA child
Energy 120 kcal 224 kcal 11% 9% 12%
Protein* 2.1 g 3.9 g 9% 7% 16%
Total Fat* 10 g 20 g 28% 21% 28%
Polyunsaturates* 4.2 g 7.8 g
Mono Unsaturates* 4.6 g 8.7 g
Saturated Fat* 1.1 g 2.1 g 10% 7% 10%
Total Sugars 4.5 g 8.4 g 9% 7% 10%
Carbohydrate 4.7 g 8.7 g 4% 3% 4%
Fibre 1.3 g 2.4 g 13% 13% 16%

* Percentage Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet for an average adult.
Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Allergens: Nuts

Cost per recipe:£5.59
Cost per portion:£0.93

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