There is a London restaurant called The Palomar that I frequent purely for its chopped ‘fattoush’ salad. Made up of ripe tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, toasted pita and dressed in thick labneh, toasted hazelnuts and spice. It is a salad bursting with texture, flavour and spice… Just the thing to be eating in this beautiful pre-summer weather we are having in London.
This is my variation – a Turkish Chopped Salad. A somewhat more haphazard variation, dictated by the contents of my salad draw and the contents in my vegetable patch. It is also free from crisply toasted pita shards and shavings of red onion, (because I didn’t have any) but the addition of either, or both, would be most welcome.
I am a big fan of eating this dish with the addition of toasted/ griddled bread, rubbed in garlic and olive oil. You can layer it up to make your own bruschetta.
I hate to be boujis about it, but when it comes to chickpeas its worth buying the expensive ones in the jars for this. The canned ones don’t quite have the same texture and taste and in a salad like this, you really notice. You can get them from many delis and some more high end supermarkets. For the dukkha spice mixture, I have added a link to my recipe below, but you can certainly buy it. If you do, just make sure to check the ingredients and buy one that is primarily nuts and spices, there are some that are made of wheat and lack any flavour.
Turkish Chopped Salad
Serves 4 – If making for two, leftovers last well, so its worth making the full amount
- 400g cooked chickpeas
- 4 large ripe plum tomatoes, chopped into cubes
- 1/2 cucumber, chopped into cubes
- 1 small bulb of fennel, chopped finely into slithers
- a handful of fennel fronds, roughly chopped*
- a small handful of mixed garden greens (like spinach), chopped
- 4 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 tbs mint leaves, chopped
- 4 tablespoons thick green yoghurt, or labneh
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 4 tbs dukkha
- 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*Fennel fronds – these are the leafy, feathery tops of the fennel plant. They are edible just like the root.
In a small bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, grated garlic, honey and 2 tablespoons green yoghurt. Season with a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the chickpeas, chopped greens, tomatoes, cucumber, mint, parsley, half the dukkha and half the fennel fronds in to a large bowl and toss to combine in the dressing mixture. Season to taste.
Divide up the salad between four plates. Add a dollop of greek yoghurt to each, then top with a sprinkle of the dukkha, a scattering of toasted hazelnuts and some of the remaining fennel fronds. Finish each with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.