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23
Jul

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Here is a salad from Gaziantep that is very intriguing. I saw it being made at the home of Belgin, a wonderful cook, and a friend of my great friend Filiz who is an authority on the foods of Gaziantep. She introduced me to Belgin.

It starts out by looking like it’s going to be a normal salad, with beautifully chopped ingredients, arranged neatly in a tray as you can see above, waiting to be tossed together. But instead of mixing the ingredients lightly, Belgin kneads them together, and quite roughly towards the end until they are blended enough for her to shape the mixture into balls, which you can then pick up with your hand and bite into. Absolutely delicious but not quite a salad as I or you would understand it.

Here is how Belgin makes omaç. She arranges all the finely chopped ingredients (parsley, green and red peppers, onion, tomatoes and diced white cheese which is a little softer than halloum but not as soft as fresh cheese) in a tray, leaving space in the middle for the seasonings which are red pepper paste, red pepper and black pepper, and olive oil.

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She then brings the ingredients together and starts mixing them, gently at first, then more quickly and with a little more strength.

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As you can see in the clip below, she then breaks up pieces of lavash over the mixed salad and carries on mixing and kneading  until she has a cohesive enough mixture which she then shapes into balls which are great fun to eat, and which make a wonderful picnic dish.

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/13626984[/vimeo]

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Here is a picture of my fattûsh below together with a recipe. I am sorry but I didn’t get an accurate enough recipe for omaç from Belgin. Next time I am in Gaziantep although the pictures should give you a fairly good idea of how to make it. One word of advice though, the lavash bread needs to be very thin otherwise it won’t mix well with the rest of the ingredients. Let me know how it comes out if you try making it.

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Fattûsh

1 medium pita bread, opened up at the seam to have two disks, toasted until golden brown and broken into bite-sized pieces

3 tablespoons sumac

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

400 g gem lettuce, outer damaged leaves discarded, cut across in 1 cm strips

100 g spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

300 g mini cucumbers, sliced in medium-thin half circles

300 g firm red tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces

200 g flat-leaf parsley, most of the stalks discarded, coarsely chopped

100 g mint, leaves only, coarsely chopped

100 g purslane, leaves only

sea salt

Put the broken up toasted bread in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the sumac all over. Add the oil and mix well. This should stop the bread from sogging up quickly once it is mixed with the salad.

Put the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add salt to taste. Add the seasoned bread. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.

©Anissa Helou from Modern Mezze


There is 16 comments on this post


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I love the sound of this salad-will have to try when down in Big Sur next week.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    it’s v good. let me know how it works out.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    i absoutely adore omac- it reminds me of pappa al pomodoro from Tuscany. and of course i love your recipe for fattoush. all so delicious. xxx shayma


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thank you shayma. and i loved your father’s post. i want some of those pakoras. and your grandparents are gorgeous. xx


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    What a divine salad! So perfect right now… must try. Thanks, Anissa!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    you’re welcome sonia. let me know how it works out.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I know it isn’t the same at all but this reminds me of shanklish salad (or my “version” of it). Thanks Anissa – will definitely let you know if I try making omaç!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    great. look forward to hearing more, and to hearing about your version of shanklish salad. am intrigued.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Hello I’m the chef of Omaç. How is your work. Where are you anissa? The video was perfect. ?t is the culture of Turkish. Turks cultur is the best of the world.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    A friend in NYC is mad about fattush so I sent a link to this blog with your recipe. Also, looking forward to that shanklish salad. Anissa, your blogs are wonderfully educational and fun.
    jb


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thanks john. i have to find some good shanklish. in fact, it’ll probably have to wait until i go to my cousins in tartus who have the ultimate shanklish, then i can do a fun post, perhaps with them making it. so glad you enjoy my blogs. i have to say i enjoy writing them and taking the pictures and clips.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Hi Anissa – what an interesting dish!

    Fattoush is one of my all-time favorite salads, but I always made it with lemon juice as part of the dressing. Is this not traditional? I didn’t see any kind of acid (vinegar, lemon, lime etc.) in your recipe.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    it is a very interesting dish, and a very delicious one too. hoping to have it again when i return there and to get a proper recipe. as for fattûsh, there are variations. some people add lemon juice and garlic and sog up the bread, while others use only sumac juice, etc. etc. at home, i learned to do it with only sumac which has the advantage of imparting a tart taste while keeping the salad dry and crisp and it’s the way i like it. i dress my other salads with lemon juice but not fattûsh. try it and see if you like it.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I think I will. I just bought a new supply of sumac today, so it’s on!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    great. let me know how it comes out.

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