Much as I love cookery books I often think that there is no definite and ‘proper’ way to cook or make so many dishes. Each family would be different – and even within families, even cooking really ordinary things there are different ways of doing it If I were making a meat sauce for pasta (I daren’t call it bolognese because I might be doing something which is incorrect!) I would use several onions cut up very finely, ditto celery and red pepper, garlic and several tins of tomatoes to go with the meat – plus herbs and seasoning and stock etc. My husband would use fewer onions, less celery and red pepper, and also carrots; he would chop the vegetables into chunks and would use less tomatoes than me, plus all the herbs, seasoning, stock etc.
I love Lebanese food, although I haven’t had any for a long time, and fattoush is always ordered, whatever else I am having! I have a recipe to make it at home, but I bet every household which makes it across Lebanon and all the other countries where it is a favourite makes it differently!
Here is my recipe…
- pitta bread or similar
- spring onions
- red pepper
- parsley and mint
- rocket or peppery leaves
- olive oil
- lemon juice
(I haven’t’ given quantities because I just use what I have to hand, and what I fancy!)
- Slightly toast the pitta until it’s crispy but not rock hard
- put the leaves in the salad bowl, torn to convenient sizes
- combine all the vegetables – sliced finely, chopped, however you prefer them
- add the finely chopped herbs, garlic, and seasoning if you like it, and mix in slightly
- scatter on the toasted pitta and sprinkle with olive oil then lemon juice, or dress the salad first then scatter the pitta if you want it crispy
I like this just on its own as lunch, but it can be served with other things, especially grilled meat or halloumi.