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HomeFoodWhy Reem Assil's California Fattoush Salad Is Genius

Why Reem Assil’s California Fattoush Salad Is Genius


Fattoush is among the vivid, easy joys of summer time: Tomatoes spill sunshine, pita shards and cucumbers take turns exhibiting off their snap, sumac puckers, and mint and parsley cool, usually, in a single chunk.

However at her restaurant Reem’s California, chef Reem Assil retains the height expertise of this staple Arab salad alive year-round. “The medley of greens is what makes fattoush so particular,” she writes in her debut cookbook Arabiyya. “In the event you’re not a purist, you may make it a medley of something.”

Peak summer time (and fall, winter, and spring).

Picture by Julia Gartland.

In winter, when tomatoes go into hibernation within the Northern hemisphere, that may imply swapping in juicy citrus and fried sunchokes to imitate cucumber’s crunch. In spring, it might be a rainbow of heirloom radishes. Even in summer time, Reem cycles in grilled or uncooked corn, pomegranate seeds, pickled cherries, or recent purslane.

The anchors that outline her always-in-season California Fattoush Salad are greens like arugula and Little Gem lettuce, craggy pita chips (home made from stale pita and even store-bought), and a French dressing so easy and highly effective, it deserves a task in our dinners without end.

It’s made up of a handful of elements which are simple to maintain readily available, both buzzed within the blender or whisked in a bowl. The crux is the pomegranate molasses, a powerhouse of sweet-sour brightness made by simmering pomegranate juice right down to a sticky syrup. Add lemon juice, crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper. Achieved.

Reem provides depth however not effort by layering the salad with a chef’s perspective: She tosses the sturdiest elements—tomatoes, cucumbers, onions—within the dressing, including solely half the pita to begin soaking.

Then she piles the arugula onto a platter bare to maintain it from wilting, tops with the dressed salad, then tucks within the remaining pita for optimum crunch. Complete parsley and mint leaves and sumac are the final vivid bursts, using on high.

Reem’s considerate development additionally means this is a perfect salad to take to a potluck or picnic. In fact the grilled pizza and root beer floats at my husband Mike’s birthday barbecue have been fashionable, however the second that introduced everybody collectively was after I pulled out all my Tupperwares of radish slivers and cucumber wheels, tossed, after which piled it up layer by layer.

For everybody.

Picture by Penguin Random Home

It felt somewhat like the duvet photograph of Arabiyya—a crowd at a desk cheers because the host unmolds a ma‘louba. It wasn’t the supposed cowl, Reem advised me as I interviewed her for this week’s episode of The Genius Recipe Tapes, however she knew it was the precise one as quickly as she noticed it.

“Hospitality is for everybody,” she advised me. “All people is welcome on the Arab desk.”


Acquired a Genius recipe to share—from a basic cookbook, an internet supply, or anyplace, actually? Please ship it my manner (and inform me what’s so sensible about it) at [email protected].

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