“I’ll bring some sort of substantial salad” is my go-to response when arranging the fare for barbecues/picnics/lunches/dinners with friends, and Yotam Ottolengi is my substantial salad maestro. He has a knack for making a bowl full of veg into a hearty and interesting feed, and this salad, which Yotam refers to as a “local affliction”, is no different. A middle-eastern spin on the classic tomato-cucumber-onion combo, it’s a great one for the warmer days when the last of the summer tomatoes are at their ripest – fresh, vibrant, crunchy, tangy, and absolutely genius in its simplicity.
I make a couple of alternations to Yotam’s recipe, both for convenience and ease of transport – toasting the Turkish bread in lieu of using day-old stale, and waiting till just before serving to slather it in the heroic buttermilk dressing.
To make the salad, tear 250g of Turkish bread into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil, and lightly toast under the grill for a few minutes until lovely and golden.
In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread, 3 diced Lebanese cucumbers, 2 thinly sliced spring onions, 3 diced tomatoes, 100g of thinly sliced radishes, and a generous handful each of chopped mint and parsley.
In a separate bowl, or a large jar if you’re transporting, combine 400ml of buttermilk, two tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a tablespoon of sumac, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and a good helping of sea salt and cracked pepper. Stir or shake to combine, and pour over the salad just before serving.
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jeruselum