Fattoush is a chunky Mediterranean salad full of healthy veggies and crunchy toasted pita bread — a tangy lemon-sumac dressing makes the dish sing.

Fatoush Salad is a wonderfully fresh vibrant dish

Let’s start out the week on the right foot — fill your market basket with the reddest tomatoes, the tiniest cukes, the firmest purple onion, a bright bell pepper, and lots of fresh parsley and mint.  Grab a pretty bunch of radishes, some feta cheese, and glossy black olives — and don’t forget the pita bread, lemon, and sumac — we’re going to make fattoush.  Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad, specifically from the Levant region (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Syria.)  It’s basically a chopped veggie salad mixed with crisp toasted pita, simply dressed with olive oil, lemon, and sumac.

Fattoush Salad

Fattoush is different from other similar salads in that the ingredients are chopped into larger bite sized pieces, so it has a nice chunky texture.  Another identifying feature is the crisp toasted pita bread tossed throughout.  If done right, the pita is light and crisp and adds a wonderful crunch to the dish.  The pita and the feta cheese make fattoush a good candidate for a light meatless meal.

Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad

All the ingredients in fattoush are commonplace, except for the sumac.   It’s a deep red, tart spice made from crushed sumac berries that I’ve used many times before here at TVFGI.  It looks a little like chili powder, but has a tangy, citrus flavor and it’s popular in Middle Eastern recipes.  You can find it in specialty groceries, or of course, always on Amazon.  If you like cooking along with me, you will definitely want to stock it in your spice cabinet, I’ve fallen in love how it can wake up a dish.  I use it here to flavor a simple dressing of olive oil and fresh lemon juice — simple and unusual.

Ingredients for Fattoush Salad

This salad is a particular favorite of mine, the little crispy bits of pita bread are satisfying but light enough that they don’t weigh the salad down. It’s a wonderful choice for entertaining because it’s out of the ordinary, but doesn’t have any controversial ingredients to bother picky guests.  It’s absolutely beautiful, too.

Healthy and colorful Fattoush Salad is a Middle Eastern masterpiece of fresh veggies, and toasted pita, in a tangy lemon dressing

Fattoush

Yield: serves 4

Fattoush

What You Will Need

  • 1 round of pita bread
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of onion salt
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, or 1/2 of a larger one
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced, or chopped in a small dice
  • several radishes, sliced or cut into wedges
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, cut in small chunks
  • a handful of cured black olives, pitted
  • a large handful of clean parsley leaves, chopped
  • a smaller handful of mint leaves, rough chopped or torn
  • dressing
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the pita bread into 1 inch squares, and then carefully separate the two layers of the bread, so you are left with single layer squares. Toss them with the olive oil and onion salt until evenly coated.
  2. Toast the pita in a large skillet over medium heat until they are brown and crisp. Stir and flip them almost constantly and try to keep them in a single layer so they will toast evenly. Set aside.
  3. Chop the tomatoes into bite size chunks. Halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes. Put them all in a large bowl.
  4. Slice the Persian cucumbers into bite sized chunks. There is no need to peel them. If you use a regular cucumber, peel and de-seed it first.
  5. Add the onions, radishes, cheese, and olives to the bowl, along with the fresh parsley and mint.
  6. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and taste to adjust any of them. If you like it less tangy, add more oil. Toss the salad in enough dressing to moisten. Toss the toasted pita and serve immediately.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/fatoush-salad/

notes:

  • Leafy greens are sometimes included in fattoush recipes, so feel free to extend this salad with your favorite.  Purslane, a type of succulent, is traditional.  It’s considered a weed here in the US, but is eaten in much of the rest of the world and I’m starting to see it at my farmer’s market.  Romaine would be another choice.
  • Try to use good tomatoes…I mixed regular, heirloom, and cherry tomatoes for variety.  Go with what’s good at the moment.
  • I don’t recommend making this salad very far ahead of time.  Tomatoes don’t do well in the refrigerator, and the pita bread will lose some of its crunch.  If you want to make it up to a few hours in advance, leave out the pita and toss it in at the last minute.
  • You can use ready made pita chips in place of the toasted pita if you like.
  • Leave out the bread for a gluten free recipe, and leave out the cheese for vegans.  This is clean eating at its best.

Healthy Fattoush Salad

 

 

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Fattoush is a vibrant Middle Eastern Salad made with chunky fresh veggies, crisp toasted pita bread, and a tangy lemon-sumac dressing

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37 Responses to Fattoush

  1. Love this Sue! One of my faves. I use za’atar pizzas that I get at a Lebanese bakery not to far from here. Always keep a few in my freezer for there are countless ways to use them. Looks like I should get one out now!

  2. I did a fattoush salad recently too as a friend asked. It’s so simple but the dressing makes a huge difference! :D I used pomegranate molasses and sumac – I love that spice!

  3. what a gorgeous salad, I need to make this PRONTO!

  4. rebecca says:

    this looks wonderful and shouts summer to me

  5. grace says:

    i should’ve known that you would make an often-unphotogenic dish absolutely beautiful! delicious recipe too. :)

  6. Claudia says:

    I love a good chunky salad. This is so pretty! I do love the addition of the toasted pita – just the right amount of crunch. Perfect for welcoming an early spring.

  7. Lizzy says:

    This looks so pretty! I make the fattoush recipe from Jerusalem pretty frequently (because, Ottolenghi). I’m pretty sure there are a thousand ways to make fattoush and I assume all delicious!

    • Sue says:

      You know, I somehow missed that one, I’m off to find my book and look. Mine is an almost exact replica of one I had in a local restaurant, and luckily they listed all the ingredients on the menu, so I had a lot to go on. Thanks for stopping by Lizzy.

  8. This recipe looks amazing and is such great inspo! I don’t eat bread but it looks like grilled halloumi in the photos so I’d substitute it for that. Can’t wait to try it!

  9. So… beautiful!! I could eat this every day and not tire of it!

  10. I love the colors they are absolutely stunning and so inviting! Great eye appeal! The recipe itself is something my hubby and I would devour. Thank you for sharing

  11. Yes, yes, yes! this is my kind of salad and so pretty to look at too.

  12. This looks so fresh, springy and delicious, Sue.

  13. Dana says:

    Oh this just looks wonderful! I love all of those big and fresh veggie flavors! I am totally going to make this soon. It’s perfect for the nicer weather we’ve been having :)

  14. Yum!! This salad looks so delicious and colourful! I wish I was having this for lunch!

  15. Now that’s a great way to start a week! ?
    … And to try something new, as I’ve never had fattoush before.
    Thank you for the inspiration, can’t wait to try it!
    Have a lovely day,
    Diana

  16. I love fattoush and this is just gorgeous. I think I’m inviting myself over for lunch ;).

  17. Bita says:

    Hi Sue, this looks fantastic! Love the sumac in there with lemon juice and parsely. Do you have middle eastern friends? just wondering where the influence comes from. I have a Persian background. Had a similar salad in Turkey once – yum! the food is so, so good there. thank youf or sharing this beautiful salad!

    • Sue says:

      You know, that’s an interesting question. I do have Middle Eastern friends, and my youngest daughter has studied Arabic and visited the Middle East, but mostly I think I just have an innate appreciation for Mediterranean flavors in general, I’ve always gravitated toward food form that region.

  18. cheri says:

    Hi Sue, I love cooking with sumac, love that you made a dressing out of it. Love all the color and texture in this beautiful salad, looks like it is the perfect way to start out the week for sure.

  19. With the coming of spring this is a lovely dish, I do enjoy a huge bowl of salad, and find it very satisfying as it does take a while to eat through it.

  20. I am absolutely loving all your pretty, bright dishes lately. Obviously you are enjoying better weather than I am :) Our snow is almost gone, though, so I’ll be there shortly!

    • Sue says:

      I was just saying to my husband that maybe I should re-brand myself as a ‘salad’ blog, I get a special pleasure out of them. We’re full on into spring here, so hopefully I can offer you a glimpse of what’s coming :)

  21. This salad is gorgeous!! Love all the fresh clean ingredients. You can’t go wrong with a crisp salad full of veggies!

  22. I am a big fan of sumac and a colorful salad like this is very enticing! Absolutely stunning!

  23. Oh, WOWWWWW – gorgeous colors in that fattoush! I love that it’s just good, clean ingredients. Perfect!

  24. That’s the way I make my panzanella — first a trip to the back yard and the farmers market, and then toss it all together! Love the pita and I must try sumac. I’ve read about it for years, but never bought it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Dorothy — I need to give panzanella another try, the bread always goes soggy on me. You can probably find sumac at your farmer’s market, if they have a spice stand.

  25. It has been a long time since I had Fatoush…this looks so colourful. Love the flavour combinations as well.

    • Sue says:

      For me too Gloria, I’d forgotten about it, but now that great tomatoes are starting to filter back into the grocery stores it’s time to rediscover it.

  26. Rebecca says:

    Pita bread croutons… so genius! This salad looks killer too!

  27. This is heavenly, Sue. I made fattoush for the first time last summer for a baby shower and it was such a huge hit! I love finding international recipes that use ingredients that we are familiar with yet they create whole new flavors. Beautiful photos!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Robyn — I avoided it for many years because I don’t usually like bread in my salads ;) but I had this at a restaurant recently and flipped. I’m so glad I gave it a second chance because it’s now my favorite salad ever.

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