Fattoush salad

My recent adventures in New Mexico and West Texas left me with a great many happy memories, including those of some fabulous meals. Yes, most of them involved chiles and plenty of cheese and meat, and I’ll be working on re-creating those soon. For now, however, I need some salads. And fattoush salad is on my mind. Why? Well, we had two excellent, if completely different, versions of it in Marfa, Texas.

Yes, two excellent if different versions of fattoush in Marfa, Texas. It’s a crazy place, Marfa.

The first one was at Cochineal, an amazing little place with a charming dining room and an even more compelling courtyard serving food I would happily pay to eat in San Francisco. The fattoush there was spare and, unlike any other version of the salad I’ve ever had, contained cauliflower.

The second was at Food Shark. Food Shark is a food truck that operates out of the old train station in Marfa, where there is also a farmers market on Saturdays.

Their fattoush was a bit more, um, Texan. Big, bold, filling. It had a crunchy, fresh falafel on top, a ton of well-oiled pita chips, and was drizzled within an inch of its life with tahini and yogurt sacues. It was the perfect lunch to re-vivify during the mid-day break of the Chinati Foundation tour.

My own version was inspired by both. I tossed romaine, peeled and seeded cucumber slices, chopped tomato, sliced red onion, plenty of chopped mint, and toasted pita pieces with a lemon garlic vinaigrette. I then topped it with feta, olives, and crushed toasted cumin seeds. I drizzled tahini on my dashing husband’s portion and garlicky yogurt on mine (Ernest perferred just lettuce and pita). We were out of pepperoncini, or I would have put a few on the side for good measure. Need more of a recipe? I’ve posted one at Local Foods.