You know that dish that you had just one time, yet still dream about…I have a few of those, but one that really stands out is a Pomegranate Fattoush Salad I had while on vacation in Montreal at Damas Restaurant.
Damas is an incredible and highly rated Syrian restaurant on Van Horne Avenue. The name is French for the capital of Syria, which in English we spell and pronounce – Damascus. This Syrian inspired restaurant is the brain child of Fuad Alnirabie, a Canadian-born Syrian chef, who has taken the city by storm. If you get the chance to go, I highly recommend the Eggplant Mutabbal, Muhammara, Grilled Octopus Salad, Filet Mignon Kabab, and of course the Fattoush!
Fattoush is an Eastern-Mediterranean salad with a crunchy bread base. Hailing from the Levant region (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey), day-old pita inspired an entire food genre known as “Fatta,” or “Fatteh.” Every country listed above has their own version of what is mixed into this salad, but the basics are still there: stale bread and vegetables.
Two things stand out to me as to why Fattoush is so loved:
- Bright colors: If something not only tastes good, but also looks good, it’s going to be an even better eating experience. All the fresh vegetables and fruits that go into this salad can be purposely chosen to create a rainbow of colors.
- Fun texture: Between the crunch of the fresh vegetables are crispy spiced pita chips, which add even more crunch.
WHY THIS POMEGRANATE FATTOUSH IS SPECIAL:
The Fattoush that you can order Damas is not what you will find at other mediterranean or middle eastern restaurants. I know because I have ordered Fattoush at many a restaurant only to be disappointed it isn’t as good as the one from Damas. What really makes this specific Fattoush fantastic is that it leans into the pomegranate flavor with arils and a flavored salad dressing.
After scouring the internet, I finally found the recipe in French courtesy of Le Presse.* I love learning to make recipes. Though I usually end up with so many new spices, that I may not know how to use outside of just one recipe. So, in order to justify buying these new spices found in this recipe, allow me to give you some ways to use them in other dishes:
- Aleppo Pepper is fantastic sprinkled on avocado toast.
- Sumac is great on pita bread.
- Za’taar is also great on pita bread or in a marinade for chicken.
Possibly another new ingredient to you in this recipe, is the Pomegranate Molasses. It can be hard to find at your everyday store. However, I found that my local Whole Foods had a couple options:
So, without further ado, here is the recipe…
*I have translated this recipe (thanks to google translate) and adapted some ingredients to make it a little more accessible for your everyday cook. You can find the full article in French thanks to La Presse, by clicking here.
Watch a quick demonstration here.
HOW TO SERVE FATTOUSH:
This beautiful salad is great for sharing with others over dinner. If you are making this ahead of time, you can combine all the vegetables & fruits together, but add the crispy spiced pita chips and pomegranate vinaigrette when you are about to serve it.
This salad can be great on it’s own, but when paired with other delicious dishes, it can be even better. Here are some ideas for what to serve with this salad.
- Brunch Entree: Shakshuka with Feta by Melissa Clark via NYTimes Cooking
- Dinner Entree: Za’taar Chicken with Garlic Yogurt and Cilantro by Melissa Clark via NYTimes Cooking
- Bread: Homemade Pita Bread by David Tanis via NYTimes Cooking
- Dip: Hummus by Mark Bittman via the NYTimes Cooking
- Dip: Lemony Whipped Feta With Charred Scallions by Sarah Jampel via NYTimes Cooking
- Dip: Muhammara (Red Pepper and Walnut Spread) by Ana Sortun via NYTimes Cooking
- Dip: Baba Ghanouj by Martha Rose Shulman via NYTimes Cooking
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do! Comment below with your thoughts on what else to pair this salad with!