Fattouch (or fattoush) salad is a staple on any mezze table, as is tahini, which is used as a topping and to make other popular dishes, such as baba ganoush. Add these to your repertoire and you'll impress any téta.
Identical twins Antoine and Bechara Taouk named Téta Mona in honour of their grandmother after working at their grandmother's bakery in Preston for years. Opening a restaurant together was the logical next chapter for the boys, who grew up eating téta's food. The menu is a combination of their heritage and a more contemporary diet: simple, fresh and full of flavour. They also cater to vegans. The brothers have added their own spin, too, ditching white flour and sugar in favour of unrefined ingredients. These two recipes exemplify Lebanese soul food meets wholefood.
Téta Mona's Fattouch Salata with Tahini
- 2 large wholemeal Lebanese pitas
- 1 cos lettuce, cut lengthways into 2cm strips
- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced on an angle
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- 4 radishes, finely sliced
- 1/2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 80ml lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- pomegranate seeds (when available), to serve
- 155g raw sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons mild olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- fine Himalayan salt
- For the tahini, toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring or tossing frequently, until lightly coloured and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Tip onto a large plate or tray to cool. Add the cooled sesame seeds to a food processor and process for 2–3 minutes until a crumbly, sticky paste forms - you can use a mortar and pestle for a chunkier consistency. Add the oil and process for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until a thick and fairly smooth paste forms. Add half the lemon juice and an equal amount of water and process. Add more water and lemon combined. Tahini can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3–4 weeks. Stir well before using.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C fan-forced (220°C conventional).
- Bake the pita for about 5 minutes until toasted and crisp. Set aside to cool. (You can also cut the pita into 3cm wedges and toast or fry.)
- Break the lettuce strips apart into a salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, radish and parsley and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle over the salt and sumac, pour over the lemon juice and oil and toss gently.
- Coarsely crush the pita and scatter over the top of the salad, creating a little mountain in the centre of the salad. Drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the top, scatter over the pomegranate seeds and serve the fattouch with the tahini.