Fattoush Salad

Healthy Fattoush Salad

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

Ingredients

  • 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.
https://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

37 Comments

  • Reply
    Abbe @ This is How I Cook
    March 16, 2016 at 9:22 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 16, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Za’atar pizza sounds good!

  • Reply
    Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella
    March 16, 2016 at 5:02 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Diane {Created by Diane}
    March 15, 2016 at 9:53 pm

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

  • Reply
    rebecca
    March 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    this looks wonderful and shouts summer to me

  • Reply
    grace
    March 15, 2016 at 10:29 am

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

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      You made me laugh — I love a challenge!

  • Reply
    Claudia
    March 15, 2016 at 6:58 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Lizzy
    March 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Ariana Omipi @ Ari Eats
    March 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    March 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm

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

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    March 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
    March 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm

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

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    March 14, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    This looks so fresh, springy and delicious, Sue.

  • Reply
    Dana
    March 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    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 :)

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    March 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm

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

  • Reply
    Diana / Dreams Factory
    March 14, 2016 at 11:57 am

    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

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    March 14, 2016 at 10:32 am

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

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Haha, we’ve polished this one off, let’s make a date!

  • Reply
    Bita
    March 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2016 at 10:09 am

      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.

  • Reply
    cheri
    March 14, 2016 at 9:22 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours
    March 14, 2016 at 8:44 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    March 14, 2016 at 8:36 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

      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 :)

  • Reply
    Jen | Baked by an Introvert
    March 14, 2016 at 8:27 am

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

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    March 14, 2016 at 8:17 am

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

  • Reply
    Kylee @KyleeCooks.com
    March 14, 2016 at 8:16 am

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

  • Reply
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
    March 14, 2016 at 8:14 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2016 at 8:24 am

      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.

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    March 14, 2016 at 8:04 am

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

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2016 at 8:12 am

      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.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    March 14, 2016 at 8:04 am

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

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Truth be told I snacked on the toasted pita all day…

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    March 14, 2016 at 7:45 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2016 at 8:01 am

      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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