Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad made with fresh garden vegetables and toasted or grilled pita bread. Similar in concept to the Italian bread salad Panzanella, it is a rustic dish that makes use of stale bread tossed with fresh seasonal ingredients. Fattoush has a significant Middle Eastern influence, with the addition of sumac which gives the salad its characteristically sour flavor, as well as feta cheese, kalamata olives, parsley, coriander, and mint. Best of all, fattoush salad is delicious and very satisfying to eat.
The toasted pita bread adds a satisfying crunch to the salad, and when the grill is going, I like to grill the pita for extra smoky, toasted flavor.
Serves 4-6 as light main course or 6-8 side salads
For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon dried sumac
3/4 cup (180 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
3 pita breads
3 romaine lettuce hearts, broken into thirds
1 lb./480 g. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then cut in 1/4" pieces
1 smallmedium red onion, thinly sliced
1 small bunch (about 1/2 cup) Italian parlsey leaves, coarsely chopped
1 small bunch (about 1/2 cup) fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
1 small bunch (about 1/2 cup) fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Prepare the vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, cumin and sumac. In a steady stream whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Grill the pita breads:
Preheat oven or grill. Open the pitas and separate, so each pita is 2 circles. Cut each pita circle in 6 triangles. Grill in oven until crispy and golden, about 5 minutes, or grill over indirect heat until crispy and toasted. Remove from heat and cool. Break into large pieces.
In a large bowl toss pita bread pieces and salad ingredients together with half the vinaigrette. Add additional vinaigrette and continue to toss until leaves are well coated. Serve immediately.
Serve Fattoush Salad with:
Moroccan Spiced Chicken under a Brick