This fattoush salad is a favorite and can be ready in 15 minutes! Crunchy toasted pita bread is arranged on a bed of chopped lettuce and vegetables and served with a zesty bright dressing.
One of the reasons I love Mediterranean recipes is that they use the freshest vegetables and herbs especially in salads such as Mediterranean salad, couscous salad, tabouli, and, of course, our favorite fattoush. Today I'm going to show you how to make this classic Lebanese salad in no time!
Table Of Contents:
What is Fattoush?
"Fattoush" comes from the word "Fatteh" which means "crumbled bread" in Arabic. Similar to panzanella, fattoush contains crispy day-old bread, in this case, pita bread, making it a great alternative to letting food go to waste. It's basically a fried/toasted bread salad made the Mediterranean way, using fresh vegetables and herbs with a tasty dressing.
You can find fattoush salad in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants. I love ordering it at alongside chicken shawarma and toum (garlic sauce) on the side. The addition of crispy pita and a tangy dressing makes this Lebanese salad extra special and delicious. I always end up making a large bowl of this salad for dinner because a small portion is never enough.
Ingredients And Substitutions
The precise ingredient list can vary from region to region. The basics include:
- Lettuce - Fresh romaine lettuce works best in this recipe. You'll get the right texture and level of crispiness.
- Tomatoes - You want to use firm tomatoes to make this recipe. I love using roma tomatoes for their flavor and texture.
- Parsley, mint and green onions - These herbs add a lot of flavor to this salad.
- 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 - As I've mentioned in salad shirazi, my preference is to use Persian cucumbers. They are crispy and have no large seeds. If using English or other kinds of cucumbers, make sure to deseed them first.
- Red bell pepper - For a touch of sweetness and pop of color.
- Red onion - Red onion has a nice flavor that is not as strong as white onion, therefore it's perfect for salads.
- Fried pita bread - You can use store bought or homemade pita bread. It's best if the bread is a couple of days old so it crisps up better.
Fattoush Salad Dressing
Fattoush dressing is what makes this salad stand out. The combination of pomegranate molasse, sumac, lemon juice, garlic, 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 has a tart flavor. You can find sumac in Middle Eastern shops or online. If you're looking for another recipe using sumac specifically, check out my sumac onions recipe.
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 the chopped herbs, chopped cucumber and tomatoes, sliced onion, chopped bell pepper and radishes to the lettuce. Toss the vegetables together.
- 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 the pomegranate molasses, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, minced garlic and sumac until fully combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine.
- Final touches - Add the crispy pita to the salad and gently toss again. Taste to make sure it has enough salt and acidity.
Tips To Make The Best Fattoush
- Fattoush recipes could change region to region. Follow this basic recipe and add the ingredients you prefer.
- You can either fry or bake the pita bread. I prefer to shallow fry it in olive oil.
- Make sure to use fresh produce, it makes all the difference.
Here are a few dishes you can serve this fresh Lebanese salad with:
- Shish tawook
- Chicken shawarma
- Beef shish kabob
- Arayes (Lebanese meat stuffed pitas)
- Homemade falafel with tahini sauce
Fattoush 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, a big bowl of fattoush salad on its own can be a really satisfying meal in and of itself on a hot summer day!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, however, 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.
Traditionally, the pita is fried in some olive oil so it becomes crispy. You can also bake the pita in the oven using my baked pita chips recipe.
Fattoush ingredients change region to region. You can use red bell pepper or green bell peppers and even add some fresh dill if you like.
Sumac has a unique flavor and unfortunately, there isn't a substitute for it. You can find sumac at almost any supermarket or online. It keeps well for a long time when stored in a jar and kept in a cool, dry place.
More Salad Recipes To Try
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Fattoush Salad Recipe
- 2 heads Romaine Lettuce
- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 2 cup roma tomatoes
- ½ red onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper
- 6 cup radishes
- ½ cup parsley
- ½ cup mint
- 4 green onions
- 2 pita bread
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 4 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- Chop romaine lettuce and place it in a large bowl.
- Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and red bell pepper into small pieces. Slice the radishes into half moons and finely chop the parsley, mint and green onions. Add all the vegetables to the lettuce and give it a good toss.
- 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.
- Make the dressing - In a bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, sumac and pomegranate molasses. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Top with the toasted pita and serve immediately.
- 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 using homemade pita or store-bought. However, 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. Alternatively, you can use pita chips for this recipe.
- Use fresh vegetables to make this recipe. You can use any type of vegetable you have on hand, 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.