One of my all-time favorite salads is fattoush. Fattoush is a Lebanese salad that is loaded with veggies, boasts a lemony flavor and the pièce de résistance, toasted pita bread! The problem with fattoush is shortly after the salad is made, the bread gets soggy and that’s it for me, I don’t do soggy bread. I wanted to create a recipe that had all the delicious flavor of fattoush but held up to time. This Mediterranean Rice Salad is packed with flavor, loaded with veggies and a perfect meal or side dish.
Sumac is one of the mostly widely used spices in Lebanese cooking. Sumac trees are plentiful in Lebanon and yield a fruit that is ground into the reddish powder we know as sumac. With a bold lemon, tangy flavor, it packs a punch and brightens any dish. Sumac, with the addition of lemon and mint create a unique flavor that is light and refreshing in this salad.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and peppers along with black rice are the basics to this recipe. Of course mixing and matching veggies and varieties of rice are totally doable to suit your preferences. I love how these hearty veggies can hold up to the rice and flavor of the sumac, lemon and mint. The salad is also a perfect companion to a Dry Riesling. Pacific Rim Dry Riesling ($12) is a perfect Columbia Valley wine to go with this meal. The wine is crisp, dry and lush, quite a bit different than your standard Rieslings. Aged in stainless steel, it has a crisp, sharp flavor that holds up to the lemony, tangy flavor of the sumac and lemon in the rice salad.
Whether you are planning a BBQ, family dinner, school or work lunches, this salad will sure to please a crowd.