The Natural Cook
Laura Edwards

Fresh, summery and exotic, this is a great dish to have in your summer repertoire. It’s another good recipe for using up staling bread, too. Any bread will work, but flatbread or pitta is best.


Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Raw tomatoes with basil
1 stale pitta or flatbread
or a large slice stale bread
light olive oil
pinch sumac
1 red pepper, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 large sprigs mint, leaves only
small bunch parsley, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1 small lemon, juiced
100g cucumber, cut into 2–3 cm cubes
or 100g courgette, cut into 2–3 cm cubes


  1. Place the pitta or other bread on a baking tray, drizzle with light olive oil and sprinkle with the sumac. Put under a low grill for three to five minutes until it is crispy, but be careful not to burn it. Break into random pieces and season them with salt and pepper and another pinch of sumac.
  2. Mix all the vegetables and herbs together in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and dress with extra virgin oil and lemon juice. Mix in the bread.
  3. Now you have two choices: eat now while the bread is still crisp, or allow to sit and macerate for 15 minutes so the flavours mingle while the bread softens slightly.


  • Gazpacho: If you have leftover fattoush, just blend the ingredients together with a bit more cucumber and a splash of water. Serve cold from the fridge.


  • This salad is best eaten on the day it is made.

Cook natural

  • There is a use and a recipe (most of them in this book) for every stage of a loaf of bread’s life, from day one fresh to rock solid, so never feel you have to throw any of it into the bin. Sourdough keeps the best and ages well, becoming more flavourful after a couple of days. Keep bread in a paper bag out of the fridge, so that it dries instead of moulding. Stale bread acts as a thickener when torn into soups such as ribolitta, or pappa al pomodoro, an Italian tomato soup, and adds a nice texture, as it does to the fattoush above. As it gets a little older, fry bread into croutons and add them to salads and soups or make migas.
The Natural Cook
Tom Hunt
food cycle
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