Today Mario of Mario’s Kitchen shares with us a flavourful and colourful Fattoush salad, and introduces us to a herb used in many Lebanese dishes, which you’ve probably never heard of! – Lucy.
The deliciously healthy and flavourful Fattoush Salad by Mario Karem of Mario’s Kitchen. Styling – Stefanie Ingram. Photo – Luisa Brimble for The Design Files.
OK, so I’m going to tell you a secret, but you have to promise to keep it to yourself. There’s a summer herb you’ve probably never heard of, and it’s absolutely delicious, versatile, and packed full of vitamins.
Ready? Here goes… it’s Purslane.
This sprawling succulent is a wonderful herb that is used abundantly in traditional Lebanese and Mediterranean cooking. However, it’s almost unheard of in mainstream recipes, which is crazy because it’s such a unique and unexpected addition to a salad.
It’s the easiest herb in the world to grow, and like many Lebanese families, we’ve been harvesting our own for generations. In fact, it grows almost like a weed in many people’s gardens, and they don’t even know it’s edible!
It has a lemony, salty taste, and goes superbly with so many other fresh ingredients. Many people wouldn’t even be able to identify the flavour, so serving just a little in this unique and exciting salad will keep your friends guessing.
Although it’s a pretty easy salad to make, it looks fantastic, has a really zesty flavour and is absolutely perfect for summer. The bread makes it just a little heartier, and makes this a really satisfying dish.
My family’s classic fattoush salad was always on the table at most family meals, and always the first to be demolished. Love it!
Fresh ingredients for the Fattoush Salad. Styling – Stefanie Ingram. Photo – Luisa Brimble for The Design Files.
2 x red capsicums cut into 2cm cubes
2 x medium Lebanese cucumbers cut in half lengthwise then half again, then into 2cm slices
3 x cups of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 x large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 x green shallots, thinly sliced
1 x cup of flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked
1 x cup of mint leaves, picked
5 x radishes halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup of purslane leaves, picked
1 x Lebanese bread
3 x garlic cloves
2 x teaspoons of sumac
3 x table spoons of good quality olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Mario serving up the Fattoush Salad. Styling – Stefanie Ingram. Photo – Luisa Brimble for The Design Files.
Crisp the Lebanese bread in the oven until it’s golden brown, then put it aside to cool.
Make the dressing by crushing the garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle, add a good pinch of sea salt, the sumac, the olive oil and the lemon juice, and blend thoroughly.
Mix the capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, leaves and herbs into a large bowl, add the dressing, then toss well to combine.
Break the crisped Lebanese bread over the salad and mix again.
Serve immediately. Irresistible!
HUGE THANKS Mario and Liz of Mario’s Kitchen for sharing their family recipes with us this month, and to Luisa Brimble and Stefanie Ingram for the gorgeous shots! For more foodie inspiration from Mario and a peek at some of the incredible events he caters, be sure to check out the Mario’s Kitchen Instagram account!