A delicious middle eastern salad that is a native to the Levant area. Simple chopped veggies dressed in a zesty garlicky vinaigrette and topped with crunchy pita pieces. Fattoush and tabouli are two of the most favorite salads in our home.
Interesting fattoush recipe
So what is fattoush?. It is an interesting colorful salad with bright lemony and fresh minty notes. You can use whatever vegetables you have the real secret is in the vinaigrette and the fried bread which takes your ordinary everyday salad to a whole new dimension.
It is a popular Lebanese mezza that is adaptable to your liking. It was created to use up seasonal vegetables and stale bread. A Lebanese friend has taught me this recipe years ago and I've not changed it since then.
There are a lot of recipes for fattoush, I have been scanning many of them and this is how I make mine.
Some people do not add parsley, onions, bell peppers and others insist that purslane is a must. I've seen people add feta, spinach, black olives, or scallions. Some people jazz it up with pomegranate molasses as well. So there is no right or wrong here do whatever you feel comfortable with.
What is Fattoush dressing made of?
The dressing is a combination of flavors like extra version olive oil, lime juice, garlic, dry mint, sumac, salt and pepper. Some people do not like adding garlic and sometimes adding vinegar or pomegranate molasses with the lime juice. It has been a hassle for many of you to get pomegranate molasses so I did not include it in the recipe. If you would like to use it then substitute half the lemon juice with pomegranate molasses and taste to adjust.
Making the bread
Pita bread pieces are essential for fattoush. Either bake, shallow or deep fry your bread pieces. deep-frying is the traditional method. I like to bake mine so I toss them with some olive oil and bake for 10 minutes in a 400F oven. Sometimes and out of convenience I use pita chips, this usually when I am pressed in time or feel lazy. I have to tell you that using store-bought pitas chips is not your best option as it does not give the same taste. Homemade pita bread and Lebanese pita works great for fattoush.
Eat fattoush as is, as a side dish to your meal. You can also make it a meal by adding some grilled chicken strips, it is so wonderful. Add some cooked chickpeas or lentils for a vegan dinner.
I have to say that this salad is better made and served right away, as the bread will get soggy by time and you do not want that.
Your best option is to mix veggies in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Make the dressing in a separate container then refrigerate as well. Bake or fry the bread and place on your countertop. Mix everything when you are ready to serve.
If you have never made a traditional Arabic salad, I highly recommend starting here. It is so easy to make, adaptable and ingredients are not hard to find.
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- ½ romaine lettuce head coarsely chopped. Note1
- ½ pint grape tomato halved.
- 2 cups Persian cucumber. diced.
- ½ cup red onion. sliced, Note2
- ½ cup bell pepper seeded and diced.
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley chopped and loosely packed.
- ⅓ cup sliced radish. cut into ¼ inch thick slices.
- ¼ cup fresh mint coarsely chopped and loosely packed.
For the dressing
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil.
- ¼ cup lime juice.
- 1 Tablespoon of sumac more for sprinkling on the top.
- 2 garlic cloves crushed..
- 1 Tablespoon dried mint. or 1 teaspoon fresh chopped mint.
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- 1 teaspoon pink salt or to taste
For the pita chips
- 2 small pita breads 4 inch, torn into pieces.
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
- Place pita pieces in a medium bowl; pour oil over and toss to coat. Season pita to taste with salt. Roast in a 400F oven until golden brown and crispy.
- Combine salad ingredients together in a deep bowl.
- Combine dressing ingredients well together.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
- Right before serving, add the pita chips and mix .
- Add more pita pieces on top and sprinkle with sumac or za'atar.
Note2: You can also use scallions instead. Trim ends and cut both wite and green parts into thin strips.