Turkish bread & roasted vegetable salad

Turkish bread & roasted vegetable salad

New Feast
Alan Benson

We are big fans of ‘fattouche’ salads, which tumble torn pieces of Arabic bread into a mix of chopped garden vegetables. The bread is usually toasted or, better still, fried, which adds an appealing crunch factor. This recipe uses Turkish bread, fried in a spicy paste, which is more substantial and adds pleasing bulk and texture to the roasted vegetables. If you’re concerned about the calories, then toast the bread in the oven, instead of frying it.


Quantity Ingredient
4 long red capsicums, choose a mixture of red, orange and yellow ones, if you can
8 shallots, unpeeled
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
80ml olive oil
2-3 tablespoons butter
4 baby zucchini, halved lengthways
8 Slow-roasted tomatoes with pomegranate & thyme, or sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 loaf turkish bread, roughly torn into large chunks
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper paste
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons salted baby capers, well rinsed
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly torn
1 cup lambs lettuce or rocket leaves
greek-style yoghurt, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Arrange the capsicums, shallots and garlic on a foil-lined baking tray and rub with a little oil. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once, until the skins blister and char. Remove the capsicums from the oven and transfer them to a shallow bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to steam for 10 minutes, which loosens the skins and makes them easier to peel.
  2. Continue roasting the garlic for another 5 minutes, then transfer it to a different bowl. Lower the oven temperature to 160°C and continue roasting the shallots for a further 10 minutes then remove them from the oven and add to the bowl with the shallots.
  3. When all the vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel away the skins from the capsicums and pull out and discard the seeds and membranes. Slice the peppers into wide strips, making sure you retain any of the roasting juices. Squeeze the garlic out of its skins and set aside to make the dressing. Peel away the shallot skins and slice the soft roasted flesh in half.
  4. Transfer all the roasted vegetables, together with any juices, to a mixing bowl.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and saute the zucchini slices over a medium–high heat for a few minutes, turning regularly, until they colour a deep golden brown. Transfer to the mixing bowl, along with the roasted tomatoes.
  6. Add a little more butter and oil to the pan and heat to a sizzle. Add the Turkish bread and season with salt and pepper. Fry over a medium heat, turning regularly, until it starts to crisp and colour. Add the pepper paste and sauté for a further 3–4 minutes, until the bread has absorbed the paste and colours a reddish brown. Remove from the pan and set aside for a moment.
  7. Lower the heat and add the extra-virgin olive oil to the pan. Add the reserved garlic and the capers and sauté for a minute or two, squishing the garlic to a paste. Don’t allow it to brown. Add the sherry vinegar and lemon juice and increase the heat to a simmer. Let it bubble for a few minutes then pour onto the vegetables.
  8. Add the bread to the bowl, along with the basil leaves and lambs lettuce, and toss everything together very gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be, then serve warm or at room temperature with cool, creamy yoghurt.
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