Jenan Zammar, mother of three from Ottawa, Ontario, learned to cook wholesome family meals from her mother. Now, she is passing on her love for fresh & delicious recipes to her own children. We caught up with Jenan to learn how she is introducing the world of cooking to her children by passing down a classic recipe for Fresh Fattoush Salad with Mini Cucumbers.
Fattoush Salad – a classic Lebanese salad that’s bursting with flavour. You’ll find this salad at most Lebanese restaurants around the world. There are many variations, but the key ingredients are fresh vegetables and tangy dressing consisting of lemon, olive oil and pomegranate molasses.
When I got married 13 years ago, I wasn’t a great cook…. Ok, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know how to cook at all! However, Fattoush was something simple I could make and know my husband would love it every time. I mean, how hard is it to cut up vegetables, right? Once I got my measurements right on the dressing (always the key to a GREAT salad!), I started making this amazing salad all the time!
I learned what makes a great Fattoush Salad from my mother, who used to make this for our family on a weekly basis. She used to cook a lot of traditional Lebanese dishes and this was definitely her go-to salad.
Now that I have three children of my own, I see how important it is to feed them healthy meals. Do we enjoy some sweets here and there? Of course, but ensuring my family eats healthy is so important to me so I try and include as many fresh fruit & vegetables as I can
Since I learned to cook in my early 20’s, it’s really important to me to teach my children how to cook, use basic kitchen tools, and know safety in the kitchen. All of them are under the age of ten and they know how to use a knife safely; lately, they have been learning how to cook eggs.
Most importantly, I want my kids to know it’s ok to make a mess in the kitchen and to have fun! Cooking a meal or chopping vegetables can be intimidating for some, so I’m here to show them that cooking is not only a fun experience but they can learn a lot too. Usually, the meals that cause the kitchen to look like a tornado went through it end up tasting the best!
Fun in the kitchen is the name of the game, and my kids love having fun helping me when I’m making my Fresh Fattoush Salad with Mini Cucumbers. This recipe, made with crunchy Pure Flavor® Mini Cucumbers and Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers. What separates a great Fattoush like this from other salads is the crunchy pita bread. You can toast (for a healthier version) or fry the pita bread to make croutons that take this salad to the next level of deliciousness! The crunch will make you remember what this salad is all about and, of course, come back for more!
Although it is typically made during the fasting month of Ramadan, my mother used to make her classic Fattoush year-round. It’s full of healthy ingredients and I’m not one to complain when there’s good food to be shared!
This salad goes well with just about anything. It’s the perfect side salad for grilled meats, like grilled chicken or beef skewers. It also pairs nicely with many Lebanese main dishes such as kibbeh, hummus, and lentils, but don’t stop there: my Fresh Fattoush Salad with Mini Cucumbers is the perfect accompaniment to a good old fashion cheeseburger.
Any time I cook traditional Lebanese food, this salad is always on the table. We love the feeling of having fresh vegetables and my kids especially love Pure Flavor® Mini Cucumbers, so there’s always extra cucumbers in the salad when I make it.
In the summer, my husband and I like to grow as many vegetables as we can in our backyard. There’s something about biting into a freshly picked tomato or cucumber that gives you all the good feels.
It’s difficult to have a garden all year round with the harsh winters we have and that’s why my go-to cucumbers are always Pure Flavor® Mini Cucumbers. They have that freshly picked cucumber taste, as though I just picked it out of my own garden! My kids eat them as a snack with other fresh snacking veggies on a daily basis.
Fresh veggies are key when making Fattoush Salad. It really gives that extra flavour to the salad and is a great crunch companion to the pita!
Another great thing about this salad is that you can make the dressing ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to one month. Plus, as a bonus, you can even use this dressing as a marinade for chicken! Can you just imagine the flavour of the tangy chicken and Fattoush Salad beside it? Yum!
So, there you have it, my all-time favourite salad. I love that it’s very versatile and full of flavour. If you have any leftover vegetables in the refrigerator, feel free to add them in! Have fun exploring: this recipe can be catered to your liking and the more vegetables that are in it, the better it will be!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does! To view, download or print the full recipe, click here.
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