Chubs [Fattoosh]

This past week, with m hay on vacation, eating got kind of out of control.

It was a week of gnoshing, of visiting, of lunches and dinners out, of oodles of meat — of excess.

All this has left girl feeling a little, well… chubs.

What better way to detox and get back on track than with a meal of parsley, mint and veg with just a touch of carbs thrown in?

No pun intended with the name, fattoosh.

Fattoosh (Mixed Herb and Toasted Bread Salad)
*from Lebanese Cuisine, by Anissa Helou

For the salad:

2 medium round pita bread, toasted until crunchy
1 1/2 bunches flat-leafed parsley (11 oz on stalk), washed, dried and leaves picked off stalks
1/2 bunch mint (3 1/2 oz on stalk), leaves picked off stalk
3 small cucumbers or 1/2 long, peeled and thinly sliced in half circles
8 medium red radishes, thinly sliced in half circles
6 small tomatoes (about 3/4 lb), quartered

For the dressing:

3 tbsp crushed sumac
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chili oil (optional)
salt, to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste

Break the toasted bread into bite-sized pieces and put them in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with sumac, add the oil and mix until the bread is thoroughly coated. Add the raw ingredients, salt to taste and lemon juice and mix well together. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary and serve immediately.

Coating the bread with the oil and sumac is one way of sealing it and stopping it from going soggy; another is to mix in the bread last after having seasoned and tossed the salad. In either case, serve immediately as it is important that the bread remains crunchy for a perfect fattoosh.

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