Fatoush with Lamb
For 4 servings:
500g lamb rump
1 Tbsp each lemon juice and olive oil
1 tsp each cumin and paprika
1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
4 medium (about 300g total) pita breads
4 medium tomatoes
1/2 medium telegraph cucumber
1 green capsicum, cored, quartered and sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped mixed coriander and mint
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2–1 tsp salt pepper to taste
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
Traditionally, fatoush is a Lebanese tomato and cucumber salad. The addition of roasted lamb may not be traditional, but we think it works well the middle eastern flavours. The result is substantial salad that makes a great meal on a warm evening (hopefully there are still some left!).
The pita breads may seem like an unusual addition, but they make the salad really interesting – shortly after it’s made they are slightly crunchy, but as the salad stands they soak up some of the juices and become almost meaty – either way they’re good.
Place the lamb in a plastic bag with the lemon juice, oil, cumin, paprika and sumac (if using), then leave to marinate while the oven heats to 200°C.
When the oven is hot, remove the lamb from the plastic bag, place on a roasting pan and cook for 12–15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the rump and how well you like it cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5–10 minutes before carving into slices about 5mm thick.
While the lamb cooks, spread the pita breads on another tray and place these in the oven until they begin to crisp up (about 5 minutes), then remove them from the oven. When they are cool enough to handle, cut or tear them into bite-sized wedges.
Cut each tomato into 6–8 chunks and place these in a large salad bowl. Halve the cucumber lengthways and scoop out and discard the seeds, then cut the flesh into bite-sized chunks and add to the bowl along with the sliced capsicum, onion and chopped herbs.
Add the sliced lamb and pita bread wedges to the bowl and gently toss everything together. Sprinkle in the sugar and add salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, then toss again.
Taste and adjust seasonings if required, then serve.