Fattoush salad is a classic Middle Eastern staple packed with fresh vegetables, herbs, sumac-infused dressing, and fried pita chips. It takes only 15 minutes to make, and it’s an excellent side dish with grilled meats or seafood – or as a light meal on its own.
This Authentic Salad is vegan, incredibly fresh, and versatile, allowing you to incorporate any vegetables of your choice.
What is Fattoush?
Fattoush is a popular salad in Middle Eastern cuisine, specifically from the Levant region, which includes countries like Syria, Palestine, Jordan, and northern Lebanon.
The name “Fattoush” comes from the Arabic word “fatta“, meaning to crumble bread. It is fitting as the salad is characterized by its inclusion of pieces of crispy, toasted flatbread.
The salad is a delightful mix of fresh vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, green peppers, red onions, and fresh herbs like mint and parsley. The dressing typically consists of olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and a special tangy spice called sumac, which adds a unique flavor to the dish.
It’s known for its vibrant flavors and the satisfying crunch of the toasted bread, making it a favorite in many households and restaurants worldwide.
What is the difference between Tabbouleh and Fattoush?
Tabbouleh and Fattoush are both popular salads with distinct ingredients and flavors.
Tabbouleh is known for its finely chopped parsley and mint base mixed with diced tomatoes, bulgur wheat, lemon juice, and olive oil.
On the other hand, Fattoush salad typically has a leafy green lettuce base and includes a variety of vegetables such as cucumbers, radishes, and tomatoes. A key characteristic of Fattoush is the addition of toasted or fried pita bread, which gives the salad a unique crunch. The dressing usually includes olive oil, lemon juice, and sumac, a tangy spice that adds a distinctive flavor.
Basic Ingredients for Fattoush Salad
Making your fattoush recipe is easy and only takes about 10 minutes! Here’s what you need:
- Lettuce: Iceberg or romaine lettuce is the main ingredient. You can use mixed greens if you like.
- Cucumbers: Any cucumber works, but I prefer Persian cucumbers for this salad.
- Tomatoes: I prefer using large tomatoes, such as Roma or vine tomatoes. But feel free to add cherry or grape tomatoes.
- Green peppers.
- Onions: I like to use sliced red onions, but yellow or green onions can work.
- Radish: Adds a crispy, mild, spicy, and tangy taste to the salad.
- Pita bread: It is the star ingredient of the Fattoush. Homemade pita chips are very easy to make at home. (Pita bread is available in grocery stores).
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
I like to this lemon vinaigrette dressing to most salads. It contains two unusual ingredients (Sumac and pomegranate molasses).
- Sumac (1): A spice with a tangy taste and a hint of citrus flavor. Used in most Middle Eastern dishes. (available in Middle Eastern stores)
- Pomegranate molasses: Gives that tangy sweetness and a hint of tartness. Also, it gives that unique taste to the Fattoush.
- Dried mint: Gives a flavorful taste to the salad.
- Fresh lemon juice: Gives the salad that freshens and brightness. If you like an extra lemon flavor, add 1 tbsp of lemon zest. (Lime juice can work instead).
- Vinegar: Just a little apple cider or red vinegar; add a pleasant tangy taste.
- Fresh garlic: 1/2-1 clove gives you the garlicky taste you need. (You can always adjust the amount of how garlicky you prefer).
- Salt & black pepper to taste.
- Seven spices (optional): a pinch adds flavor.
- Extra virgin olive oil: I don’t prefer using vegetable oil.
Fattoush is a versatile dish that can easily be changed to suit your tastes. Instead of lettuce, you can use other leafy greens, such as spinach or kale. You could also add some diced avocado for a creamy texture or some crumbled feta cheese for a salty kick. Add chopped chili peppers or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the dressing if you like spicy food. Experiment and find your favorite combination!
How to make the fattoush salad:
Prepare the pita chips (pita croutons):
- Check three ways to make these pita chips (Check notes below).
Prepare the dressing:
- Mix the sumac, pomegranate molasses, fresh lemon juice, salt, black pepper, fresh minced garlic, dried mint, seven spices (optional), vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl or a mason jar.
Chop the Veggies:
- Wash the vegetables in cold water and pat dry with a clean towel.
- Chop the romaine lettuce, cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, green peppers, radish, and onion into small pieces. This will ensure that all of the flavors combine thoroughly in each bite.
- Finley chop the parsley and fresh mint if using.
- In a large bowl, add all the chopped veggies.
- Pour the dressing on top and toss to well combined.
- Serve the fried pita chips on top of the salad last so it won’t get soggy and stay crispy.
|Don’t use the store- brought pita chips, and here are some ideas on how to prepare homemade pita chips:|
Deep Fry: In a large pot or skillet, heat any neutral oil (vegetable, canola, sunflower, etc.) over medium heat. Add the pita chips and fry for 2-3 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove immediately and transfer them onto a plate covered with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
Toasted pita chips (my favorite way): In a large skillet, toss the pita chips (lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper) with olive oil and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 425° F. Toss the pita chips (lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper) with olive oil, place it on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Avoid chopping the parsley in the food processor; that will give you wet and damaged parsley.
- The sumac and pomegranate molasses are necessary to get the best salad.
- To keep the salad crisp and fresh, make sure to serve it immediately after tossing it with the dressing.
What to Serve With Fattoush Salad?
Fattoush is traditionally served with grilled meats or seafood, making it a great addition to any barbecue, but it can also be enjoyed on its own as a light and flavorful meal.
Also, try it with falafel or stuffed grape leaves.
- Store the salad in an airtight container for four days if it remains without tossing. However, if it’s already been mixed with the dressing, consuming it within a day is advisable as it tends to become limp and lose its crunch after that period.
- On the other hand, the salad dressing maintains its freshness for up to a month when refrigerated.
More Recipes to try:
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