Peach is the New Tomato: Peach Fattoush

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Peach Fattoush

Peach Fattoush. That’s weird, huh? That’s because people are funny about food. Which in itself is funny. People need food to survive, yet I’d argue humans are hard-wired to have an innate fear of food. At least unfamiliar food. My (uneducated wholly untested) theory is that ancient humans adapted fear as a protective device. Our ancestors who were afraid of heights didn’t fall off cliffs, those who feared wild animals didn’t get eaten, and the folks who stayed away from unfamiliar food weren’t accidentally poisoned. In other words, the daring diners died – and the picky eaters survived. Darwin, natural selection, blah, blah, blah. Before you know it a child named Greg was passed a bowl of peach salsa and he thought… that’s weird.

Until he tried it.

Now, not only am I completely familiar with peach salsa, but sometimes I replace the tomatoes in guacamole with peaches too. Talk about a peach fiesta!

But wait there’s more: I love a good BLP (bacon lettuce peach sandwich) and I say bring it on to peach Caprese. I would even make a delicious argument for peach ketchup and I bet I could convince you to withhold the tomatoes and make a peachy gazpacho. So why not a peach salad? Peach Fattoush Salad.

Peach Fattoush

Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad typically consisting of tomatoes, cucumber, and other crunchy vegetables tossed together with toasted pita. The best fattoush is sprinkled with sumac, mint, and parsley. It’s a great summer salad, so improvise and throw in any other super-fresh summer herbs and vegetables you like. I chose purslane. The citrusy bite of purslane is terrific with the zesty zing of sumac. Same goes for peaches. Summer Peach Fattoush Salad.

After a few of these tomato-to-peach substitutes, I’m prepared to make a bold statement. Forget orange – peach is the new black. Of course, we all know by now that tomatoes are actually a fruit, so this substitution makes sense. In texture, sweet-to-tart ratio, juiciness, and color, peaches make excellent stand-ins for fresh tomatoes, especially in sandwiches and salads. Meaning peach fattoush is not so weird that either you or you ancestors need be afraid. GREG

Peach Fattoush

Summer Peach Fattoush

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4-6Published
Peach Fattoush

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoon ground sumac (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt (as needed for seasoning)
  • 2 (8-inch) pita breads (halved crosswise split then open like a book)
  • 2-3 peaches (peeled, pitted and cut into bite-sized chunks)
  • 2 Little Gem or baby romaine lettuces (torn into bite-sized chunks) or equivilent amount of other crunchy lettuce
  • 2 Persian or mini cucumbers (cut crosswise into ½ discs)
  • 2 cup (loosely packed) purslane tender tips and leaves only
  • 2 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) mint leaves

Directions

Make the dressing: In a bowl combine sumac, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, garlic, vinegar, and dried mint. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly, until well-blended. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.

Prepare the pita: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the pita on a large baking sheet, brush generously with prepared dressing; season with salt. Bake for 10 minutes, until crisp and golden all over, then remove and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, break the pita into rough, bite-sized pieces.

Assemble the salad: Mix peaches, lettuce, cucumbers, purslane, parsley and mint in a large bowl. Add most of the remaining dressing; tossing to coat, adding more dressing if needed. Season with salt. Add pita and toss once more. Spread the salad out into a large serving platter. Sprinkle with more sumac if desired. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

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