Fattoush With Za’atar, Sumac and Pomegranate Molasses Recipe – Traditional Lebanese Salad

Fattoush is a classic Mediterranean/Middle Eastern salad, with a distinct characteristic lent by herbs that are used not just as garnish or dressing, but the main ingredients making up the salad. This Fattoush also uses other classic Mediterranean ingredients like za’atar, and pomegranate molasses to lift the flavours and give them a typically Mediterranean punch.  Red Radish, Tomatoes, Cherry tomatoes, Cucumber, Mooli/ Mullangi (Radish), Spring Onion Bulbs, Spring Onion Greens, Parsley leaves, Salad leaves, Mint Leaves (Pudina), Fresh Pomegranate Fruit Kernels, Lemon juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sumac, White wine vinegar, Water, Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pomegranate juice, Sugar, Mini Pita Breads, Sumac   For the Salad 4 Red Radish , baby ones,thinly sliced into rounds 3 Tomatoes , medium ripe, thinly sliced 4 Cherry tomatoes , halved 1 Cucumber , thinly sliced 1 Mooli/ Mullangi (Radish) , thinly sliced 2 tablespoons Spring Onion Bulbs , chopped 1/2 cup Spring Onion Greens , chopped) 1 1/2 cups Parsley leaves , chopped 1/2 cup Salad leaves , torn into pieces 1/2 cup Mint Leaves (Pudina) , torn into pieces 3 tablespoons Fresh Pomegranate Fruit Kernels For the Dressing 2 tablespoons Lemon juice 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 3 teaspoons Sumac 2 tablespoons White wine vinegar , optional 3 teaspoons Water , warm 2 cloves Garlic , crushed For the bread 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil For the Pomegranate molasses 8 tablespoons Pomegranate juice 1 tablespoon Sugar 4 Mini Pita Breads For Garnish 1 tablespoon Sumac , powder             To begin making the Fattoush Recipe, we will first prepare the dressing and chop up all he ingredients for the salad.First add the sumac to the warm water, stir to dissolve and set the mixture aside for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile slice and chop all the salad ingredients.Next, squeeze fresh lemon juice into the water into which you mixed the sumac. Add vinegar, crushed garlic, salt and whisk it together. I used white wine vinegar, but red wine vinegar could be substituted, or you could skip the vinegar altogether, since there is also lemon juice.At this stage, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream to the dressing, while whisking continuously. This will help the oil mix with the other ingredients and create a translucent emulsion that is smooth and uniform in flavour. Place the dressing in a glass bottle or jar and allow it to chill while you put together the salad. This will help the flavours get more pronounced and blend well.To make the salad, first wash all the salad greens and the parsley, mint, chopped spring onion greens. Dry them all in a salad spinner or by gently dabbing them between kitchen napkins. I used red veined sorrel, however you could use romaine lettuce or gem lettuce or any other salad greens that are easily available to you, instead. Set the greens aside.Cut the pita bread into small triangular shaped pieces (chips) and place them in a bowl. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle za’atar generously all over the pita bread. Toss the chips around in the bowl so they are well coated. Spread them out on a Baking Sheet and place them in a preheated oven to bake at 160 degrees C (320 degrees F) for 10 minutes to crisp. Take them out and set them aside to cool.Next, chop up the tomatoes into uneven chunks.Take a large salad bowl and mix all the salad ingredients together: first the salad greens, followed by the thinly sliced red and white radishes, tomatoes, scallion bulbs, cucumber slices.Then, sprinkle some salt over it and mix gently. Add the pita chips to the salad too and drizzle the pomegranate pods over the salad.The next step is to prepare the Pomegranate Molasses. It is important to ensure that this is the last step, shortly before serving the fattoush. To make the molasses, use a ratio of 8:1 for the pomegranate juice and sugar.In a saucepan, add the sugar, pomegranate juice and lemon juice and cook on high heat for about 2 minutes (or less), swirling it together, till the sugar dissolves.At this stage, reduce the heat and continue to cook the syrup for about 5 minutes till the liquid is syrupy and begins to thicken, becoming jelly like. It will be very, very, hot at this stage so take care while stirring.When the molasses begins to look thick, you need to quickly turn off the heat. At this stage you must keep the molasses moderately warm as it tends to thicken and solidify as it cools. To do this, place the saucepan in a wide bowl or warm water.The next step is to serve the salad. It is best to serve individual servings, to keep the entire salad from going soggy. To do this, portion out individual servings of the chopped vegetables. Drizzle each serving with 1 tablespoon of the lemon-olive oil dressing and 2 teaspoons of pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle a little sumac and serve.This salad would make a delightful accompaniment toKhoresht Fesenjan (a hearty Persian stew) and Saffron Pilaf.