If there is one dish I love to eat in the summer it is fatteh. The word comes from the Arabic verb fattah which means to break up and I guess the dish has this name because it is made up of layers of broken up toasted or fried pita bread topped with boiled meat and chickpeas, or steamed eggplants, or simply chickpeas and the whole covered with yogurt and garnished with toasted pine nuts, at least in the traditional Lebanese version. The Egyptian version has rice and tomato sauce while the Syrian has stuffed aubergines. All are delicious but I like the purity of the Lebanese version and I also like the simplicity of the Saudi version for which I am giving you a recipe here, albeit modernised for a more elegant presentation.
I may have inadvertently started a trend. I was doing a radio interview the other day about Modern Mezze ahead of my participation in the Emirates Literary Festival and as I was flicking through my book, I remembered that I had included roasting chickpeas as a way to supplement a home-prepared mezze and I wondered if the roasted chickpeas that I have been seeing on menus in the last couple of years or more did not have their inspiration in the photo and quick recipe below. It sounds presumptuous I know and I am sure there are people who wrote about roasting chickpeas before I did — must check in Rayess’ book, also Ibrahim Mouzannar‘s. Also it may well be that the trend for roasted chickpeas came from somewhere else because they are a heatlhy snack and chefs are more and more concerned about offering healthier choices.