Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Last week, I was reading a book called More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin. It's not a cookbook exactly. It's more like a book about meals and memories and cooking with some recipes thrown in. As you may have guessed from the title, there is also a book called Home Cooking, and I recommend them both. For locals, the Bucks County Free Library has them both.

So Gerry and I were riding the bikes at the gym, I was reading this book, and I got to a chapter called "Tomatoes." My dislike of tomatoes is practically legendary, but reading isn't eating, so I dove in. Soon I was handing the book to Gerry and urging him to read this part:

My favorite salad is the ubiquitous salad of the Middle East: diced cucumber, onion, and tomato dressed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. If you fry up some squares of pita bread in olive oil and add some flat-leafed parsley and a little fresh mint, you have a salad called fattosh, which is ridiculously delicious and extremely simple to make. This salad, with or without bread, is my summer staple.

Gerry's eyebrows rose, and he nodded. We had gotten a little behind on our cucumbers, so this was a perfect way to use them up before getting the next week's share. This week's share also includes cukes and tomatoes, so you might want to give this dish a try!

Preparation is ridiculousy quick and easy. Chop everything and toss it in some lemon juice and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste, and it's done!

Gerry wasn't too sure about adding the pita squares, but I urged him to give it a try, just to see what a Middle Eastern "bread salad" was like. "Think of them as croutons," I said. Turns out he really liked what the pita added to the dish. But either way, it's a pretty, simple, and (if you like tomatoes) delicious summer meal!


Anonymous said...

I love Laurie Colwin's 2 cookbooks. I have learned so much from reading them. My copies are are covered with food stains, as are other favorites.

Two other authors of cookbooks I have also enjoyed are Jane Grigson (GOOD THINGS), and Molly Wizenberg (A HOMEMADE LIFE). I forgot about Elizabeth David (SUMMER FOOD).

I really enjoyed JULIA and JULIE--but not her second book at all.

By the way, try Minorcan Potatoes. Basically potatoes, garlic and, dare I say, tomatoes with a bit of olive oil. I have taken them to covered dishes and been begged for the recipe.

(Is the term "covered dish" southern? Some people say "pot luck.")


Paula Jo @ Home and Garden Decor said...

Looks like my kind of salad. I love salads and I'm going to give this one a try.

Taryn Day said...

Hey, I just made and ate "Fattoush". I've always been a fan of a simple tomato, cucumber and red onion salad, but this time added the sauteed pita and some parsley and it was GREAT. This will be my new summer meal, alternated with pesto.