Authentic Lebanese fattoush salad is a Middle Eastern favorite. This fresh chopped salad is flavored with crispy toasted pita and a zesty bright dressing. Learn how to make this recipe at home with our step-by-step tutorial and video.
My love for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes comes from living in Istanbul, Turkey for some years . I remember going to the farmers market every week and getting the freshest vegetables and herbs every time and of course, I had to turn them into delicious salads such as Mediterranean Salad, Mediterranean couscous salad, tabouli and of course, our favorite fattoush salad. While living in Turkey, I found that so many dishes were similar to Persian and Middle Eastern recipes and that Turks use seasonal ingredients at all times.
I can have a large bowl of fresh salad any day of the week! For me, it’s the best side to any dish especially if it comes with some crispy toasted pita like this Lebanese fattoush!
What is Fattoush salad?
“Fattoush” comes from the word “Fatteh” which means “crumbled bread” in Arabic. Fattoush salad has crispy day old homemade pita bread in it which is a way to use old bread so it doesn’t go to waste. It’s basically a fried bread salad made the Mediterranean way. It’s is made with fresh vegetables and herbs and has a tasty dressing that makes this simple salad very delicious.
You can find fattoush salad in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants. The addition of crispy pita and the tangy dressing makes this Lebanese salad extra special and delicious. I love making a large batch of this fattoush recipe for dinner because a small portion of it is never enough.
Fattoush Salad ingredients
The ingredients for this Lebanese salad can vary region to region. The base of a fattoush salad recipe is:
- Lettuce – Fresh romaine lettuce works best in this recipe. They have the right texture and are pretty crispy.
- Tomatoes – You want to use firm tomatoes to make this recipe. I love using roma tomatoes for their flavor and texture.
- Parsley – It goes very well with the rest of the ingredients and adds a nice pop of color as well.
- Radishes – If you haven’t tried raw radishes, now is the time. They are crunchy with a kick and are perfect with the zesty dressing we make for this salad.
- Cucumbers – Like many other salad recipes, my preference is to use Persian cucumber. They are crispy and have no large seeds. If using English or other kinds of cucumbers, make sure to deseed them first.
- Red onion – Red onion has a nice flavor that is not as strong as white onion, therefore it’s perfect to have with
- Pita bread – You can use store bought or homemade pita bread to make fattoush salad. It’s best if the bread is a couple of days old so it crisps up better.
It’s important to use fresh vegetables and seasonal ingredients as that’s the base of all Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes. This traditional Lebanese salad is a great way to use up stale pita bread as you can fry them and they’ll be all crispy.
Fattoush dressing recipe
Fattoush dressing is what makes this salad stand out. The combination of sumac, lime or lemon juice, olive oil and some salt brings an amazing flavor to the simple Middle Eastern salad. The key ingredient for this dressing is the sumac. It’s a deep red spice made from grinding sumac berries and it has a tart flavor. You can find sumac in middle eastern shops or online. You can make a big batch of this dressing and keep it in the fridge for up to a week and use it on all kinds of salads.
How to make Fattoush salad
Prepare the vegetables
Wash and dry all the vegetables and herbs. Chop the lettuce and place it in a large bowl. Add chopped cucumber and tomatoes, sliced onion and radishes to the lettuce. Toss the vegetables together and add chopped parsley.
Fry the pita bread
Tear the pita bread into small pieces and heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Toast pita pieces with the olive oil and salt over medium heat until the bread is crispy.
Make the dressing
In a small bowl mix olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and sumac until fully combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine.
Add the crispy pita to the salad and gently toss again. Taste to make sure it has enough salt and acidity.
Fattoush salad can be served as a starter or a refreshing side dish to many dishes such as grilled meat and rice. Here are a few dishes you can serve this fresh Lebanese salad with:
- Shish tawook
- Chicken shawarma
- Beef shish kabob
- Chicken shish kabob
- Homemade falafel with tahini sauce
It would also make a delicious side dish to accompany rice dishes like Lebanese rice with vermicelli or mujadara. Because of all the fresh vegetables and the tangy dressing, In summer, a big bowl of fattoush salad on its own can make me really happy!
Notes and tips
- If you decide to serve fattoush later, make the salad but don’t mix it with the dressing or the toasted pita. When ready to serve, toss the salad with the dressing and toasted pita and serve immediately. That being said, it’s best to make fattoush right before serving so all the ingredients are fresh.
- You can make the toasted pita ahead of time, but it’s always best to make it fresh so it’s crispy. It’s best to let pita become a bit stale before frying it for this Lebanese fattoush salad.
- Use fresh vegetables to make this recipe. You can use any type of vegetables such as bell peppers, dill, different types of lettuce and tomatoes.
- Don’t skip the sumac as it’s the main ingredient for the dressing used in this recipe.
- 2 heads Romaine Lettuce
- 1 1/2 cup Chopped Cucumbers See Note #1
- 1 cup Chopped Roma Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Sliced Radishes
- 1/2 cup Parsley
- 1/2 Red Onion Sliced
- 2 Pita Bread
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 tbsp Lime juice See Note #2
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Sumac
- Chop romaine lettuce and place it in a large bowl.
- Add in chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, parsley and red onion. Mix well and loosely using two spoons.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and brush olive oil on both sides of pita breads. Tear them using your hands and place them in the pan. Toast the pieces on both sides until they're golden brown and crispy. Set them aside.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
- Top with toasted pita and serve immediately.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
- You can use either English or Persian cucumbers.
- Use lemon juice is lime is not available.
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