A few years ago, I used to work at a bank in Troy, MI and there used to be a Lebanese restaurant, not sure if it’s still around, but it was called La Shish. That’s where I had my first Fattoush Salad. It was amazing, delicious, probably the best salad I ever had in my life. Well since then we moved to Calgary, and I haven’t been to a Lebanese restaurant since. Not sure how or what happened, but I got a craving for one of those beautiful and scrumptious Fattoush Salads. I remember at the restaurant they used to make them with no meat, or some sort of deli meat or chicken, so I decided to make mine with chicken. The ingredients for this salad are very basic, but I’m not sure what makes it so special, I have to say this Fattoush Salad is my favorite salad. I really encourage you to try it, it’s wonderful, refreshing, and if you’re on a diet, you can’t go wrong.
Start by cutting up the chicken breast into small strips and add it to a hot saute pan with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken until lightly golden on all sides and no longer pink in the middle and place it in a small bowl and let it cool.
Normally this is when you would cut up a couple tortillas into small pieces and add them to the same pan and toss them around until they are golden. However, I didn’t have any tortillas so I used nachos instead. A risk I was willing to take. Next I used a whole English cucumber, you can peel it if you don’t like the skin, but it doesn’t bother me, so just chop it up into small cubes.
Clean a green bell pepper and also chop it up into small pieces.
Next come the green onions, chop them as well.
Place the cucumber, green pepper and green onions in a large bowl. Chop the parsley and add it to the bowl. I used cocktail tomatoes here, but really you can use any tomatoes you have on hand.
Add the tomatoes to the bowl and also the chopped cilantro. Have I mentioned I love cilantro lately? I do! The chicken should be cooled by now, so add that to the bowl and the mint as well. I love mint too!! Every time I hear mint or think about mint only one thing goes through my head … MOJITOS!!
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice with olive oil, salt and pepper and most importantly the sumac. You’ll notice it will thicken as you whisk it. The first time I made this I did not have sumac, the salad was still delicious but I must say the sumac is a very important ingredient to this salad, so if you can find it definitely use it. You should be able to find it at Arabic stores.
You can at this point add the tortilla crisps, or nachos in my case to the salad and drizzle with the dressing, or add them at the end. I however, mixed everything together, because I knew the salad was going to be eaten right away, no chance for the nachos to get soggy. Toss everything well.
I mean look at those colors, so vibrant, the salad looks and tastes amazing.