Fattoush Salad makes a frequent appearance on the Middle Eastern dinner table. A simple chopped salad dressed in a zesty lime vinaigrette. Homemade pita chips serve as croutons! See the video and step-by-step for how to make fattoush below.
In the Middle East, the pursuit of fresh-out-of-the-oven pita is real, but that doesn’t mean leftover pieces go to waste!
There are many creative ways people of the Middle East utilize pita scraps. In fact, day-old pita inspired an entire food genre known as “Fatta,” or “Fatteh.” In fatteh dishes, like this Lebanese Chicken Fatteh or fattoush salad, leftover pita is given a second chance as a main ingredient.
See video tutorial for how to make our simple fattoush salad:
What is Fattoush?
Fattoush is essentially a “bread salad,” said to have originated in Northern Lebanon. Lebanese farmers would fry leftover pita scraps in a bit of olive oil for extra flavor. And to build their fattoush, they’d simply throw the pita chips in with whatever in-season vegetables and herbs they have on hand.
For this reason, the ingredient list for fattoush may vary. And you will certainly find different versions of fattoush throughout the Middle East.
Basic Fattoush Recipe
If you were to order a basic fattoush salad at a local restaurant, you likely find: cucumbers, tomatoes, purslane leaves (or lettuce), radish, and green onions. Fresh herbs like parsely or mint, or both. A simple zesty vinaigrette and a generous dash of sumac spice give fattoush its distinctly complex flavor.
Tips for Making Fattoush
As with any fresh salad, fattoush is the sum of its parts. So here are just a few tips:
- Start with selecting the best produce you find, ripe tomatoes, freshly-picked herbs, etc.
- Don’t use store-bought pita chips (there is certainly a place for those, but not in fattoush salad). Take the time to toast and fry your pita at home, making sure you season them well.
- Please try not to skip sumac. It is a special spice from ground sumac berries, and it’s tart flavor is very hard to replicate.
- Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find. It’s peppery, fruity taste is essential here. Remember, olive oils that are simply labeled “pure” have usually been heat-treated and refined by mechanical mean and, consequently, lack character and flavor.
- Lastly, remember, this is a “basic” fattoush recipe. If you like, try your own variation by adding in-season vegetables like colorful heirloom tomatoes or even green peppers. Add more herbs or crushed garlic. And if it’s available to you, jazz up the vinaigrette with 1 tsp pomegranate molasses. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 6
- Category: Salad
- 2 loaves pita bread
- Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp sumac, more for later
- Salt and pepper
- 1 heart of Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 5 green onions (both white and green parts), chopped
- 5 radishes, stems removed, thinly sliced
- 2 cups chopped fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
- 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
- Toast the pita bread in your toaster oven until it is crisp but not browned. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Break the pita bread into pieces, and place in the heated oil. Fry briefly until browned, tossing frequently. Add salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of sumac. Remove the pita chips from the heat and place on paper towels to drain.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions with the sliced radish and parsley.
- To make the lime vinaigrette, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and spices in a small bowl.
- Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss lightly. Finally, add the pita chips, and more sumac if you like, and toss one more time. Transfer to small serving bowls or plates. Enjoy!
- Feel free to add more herbs or crushed garlic, if you like! Some like to add about 1 tsp or so pomegranate molasses to the dressing.
- Recommended for This Recipe: Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil; all-natural sumac spice; all-natural allspice.
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Step-by-step photos for how to make fattoush
Toast the pita bread in your toaster oven until it is crisp but not browned.
Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Break the pita bread into pieces, and place in the heated oil. Fry briefly until browned, tossing frequently. Add salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of sumac. Remove the pita chips from the heat and place on paper towels to drain.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions with the sliced radish and parsley.
To make the lime vinaigrette, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and spices in a small bowl.
Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss lightly.
Finally, add the pita chips (and another generous pinch of sumac, if you like) and toss one more time.
Transfer to small serving bowls or plates. Enjoy!
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*Post last updated: July 2017