05 March 2013

Prawn & Feta Fattoush Salad



So we are in to week 3 of 6 of a little less indulgent living & feeling much the better for it.  However that doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice flavour. Healthy can be full of flavour & satisfying.  I find it’s even more crucial than normal as it helps avoid the feeling of denial, which I find is completely counter conducive to the less indulgent lifestyle!

A favourite spice is sumac, a little sour & a little tangy.  It comes from the 
dried fruit of rhus coriaria, a shrub native to southern Europe and Turkey. It is ground to a  rusty red powder & delivers a tangy sourness that is popular in Middle Eastern & North African cooking. It adds a little zing to any dish with it’s wonderful lemony tartness.
Sumac is classically used in fattoush salad & za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice rub.  However it can be added to all sorts of dishes if you are looking for a little tartness.  Sprinkle a little over hummus or sprinkle over yoghurt with a little drizzle of olive oil for a fresh dip. Or add it to vinaigrette to liven up a salad.



I also love za’atar, it is the star of this go to chicken recipe.  You can buy it but it is very easy to whip up a batch to have on hand in the pantry so there’s a quick recipe down below.
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend traditionally made with dried thyme, toasted sesame seeds, ground sumac & salt though blends can vary significantly from region to region, some may add the likes of fennel seeds or oregano.  So flavour wise it can range from quite nutty to tangy to a little more herbal or salty. 

Za’atar

Ingredients

2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp ground sumac
1/4 tsp sea salt




Directions

Place the sesame seeds & thyme in a pestle & mortar & grind to a coarse texture.  Stir in the sumac & salt & you have za’atar.  It will keep for 1 month in an air tight container.

And so we have a prawn & feta fattoush salad combining a little sumac & za’atar, or rather my take on fattoush.  A more traditional fattoush would be toasted pita, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion & parsley with a garlic & lemon vinaigrette.


Prawn & Feta Fattoush Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the salad
4 small pita
A drizzle of olive oil
1-2 tsp za’atar
16 jumbo prawns*
Sumac
2 tbsp olive oil
1 romaine lettuce, roughly chopped in to bite size pieces
4 medium tomatoes, quartered
2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthwise & cut in to half moons
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup feta crumbled
Salt & pepper

For the vinaigrette
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sumac
Salt & pepper

*Or enough prawns for 4 people.



Directions

Pre heat oven to 180C / 375F

Tear the pita in to bite sized pieces & place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.  Drizzle with just a little olive oil & sprinkle over a the za’atar.  Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden & crisp.  Remove from the oven & set aside.

Season the shrimp with salt & pepper & sprinkle both sides with sumac.  Heat the olive oil in a medium sized frying pan or iron skillet over a medium high heat & add the prawns.  Cook for a minute or 2 each side until just cooked through, remove from the heat & set aside.



While the pita & shrimp are cooking make the salad & the vinaigrette.  For the salad place the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers & mint in a medium sized bowl.  For the vinaigrette mix all the ingredients together, taste & season with salt & pepper.

Add the pita & shrimp to the salad, drizzle with dressing & gently toss to combine.  Pile the salad on to plates & crumble over a little feta.  Serve immediately.



Tangy, zesty  & crunchy!  You certainly don’t feel anything even close to denial with this salad.  Succulent prawns, a bright zingy salad, golden toasty pita & salty feta will not leave you wanting.

If you like this you might like this Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar & Pine Nuts

Enjoy!

8 comments:

  1. Exquisite dish. It looks so flavorful!

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    1. Thanks El, one of those ones that just worked a treat :)

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  2. I really need to replace my now-empty cannister of sumac! Forgot how delicious it is. Love the sound of this prawn salad. Damn, really haven't had prawns in a while either, come to think of it...

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    1. Thanks Laura, yes I love sumac, it such a lively little spice :)

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  3. I love fattoush, and have also included grilled shrimp in Greek salads, so this is perfect!

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    1. Hi Lynda, thanks for stopping by, grilled shrimp in Greek salad is something I would love too.

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  4. This sounds terrific! Funny, I bought sumac years ago for a great-sounding recipe, and somehow forget what the recipe was, but the sumac still sits on the shelf. I was wondering the other day what I could use it in.. and here is your lovely salad. Even have shrimp in the freezer. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi Cary, perfect timing! Sumac is wonderful in so many dishes, drizzle a little olive oil over yoghurt, a good sprinkle of sumac & you have bright, fresh dip )

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