This Lebanese fattoush is a bright, tangy, delightfully fresh salad. Fresh greens and in-season vegetables are drizzled with a simple, yet dynamite dressing and tossed with crunchy toasted pita chips.
Today’s recipe for Lebanese fattoush is a simple yet scrumptious recipe from the realm of Middle Eastern Cuisine. Replacing crunchy croutons with toasted pita chips, this easy recipe is the Lebanese version of a garden salad.
While the dish is named for the bread it contains, the real star of this show is the vibrant sumac. This sensational seasoning takes the dressing from bright and tangy to bold and vibrant. Once you try sumac, you’ll never go back!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Pita – Check out my recipe for Khubz (Arabic Pita Bread) or grab some at your local market. You can also grab premade pita chips if you are in a hurry.
- Olive Oil – Enhances the flavor of the pita chips and forms the foundation of our dressing.
- Lemon Juice – Adds a blast of bright citrus flavor and tangy flavor.
- Sumac – Brings a sharp, tart, and slightly floral element to the dressing.
- Garlic – Offers a pungent punch of zingy heat.
- Salt – A high-quality salt harmonizes and enhances the flavor of everything else in the dish.
- Pepper – Delivers a complimentary pop of piney, peppery zestiness.
- Greens – I’ve chosen crisp romaine lettuce and spicy arugula for a nice blend of textures and tastes. Feel free to sub in any mix of your favorite greens.
- Roma Tomatoes – Romas are my favorite for their meaty texture and low moisture content, but any tomato variety can be used in a pinch.
- Persian Cucumbers – This variety of cucumbers has thin skin, little to no seeds, and a low moisture content. If you can’t find these, English hothouse or Burpless cukes will do.
- Bell Peppers – I went with green bell peppers for their peppery freshness, but feel free to use yellow, orange, or red if you prefer.
- Red Onion – Adds a mildly sweet and slightly sharp kick to the salad along with a lovely splash of color.
- Herbs – Fresh mint and parsley add freshness and a brilliant blast of green
HOW TO MAKE LEBANESE FATTOUSH
- Prepare the Oven. Set your oven to broil and line a baking sheet with foil. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Tear & Toast. Break the pita bread into large pieces by cutting or tearing. Place the pieces on the prepared baking sheet and put the pan under the broiler. Flipping once, cook until the pieces are golden brown and crispy. Cool and break down into smaller bits.
- Make the Dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, sumac, and garlic powder together. Set aside.
- Combine & Toss. Add all of the chopped vegetables and herbs to a large bowl and toss to mix well. Drizzle a bit of the dressing over the top of the salad.
- Add Toasted Pita. Right before serving, add the crunchy pita pieces and more dressing if desired. Toss the salad gently one more time before serving.
Related to the cashew, the sumac seasoning comes from drupes, or stone fruit, that grows in clusters sometimes called “sumac bobs.” They’re cone-shaped groupings of bright red berries that grow on small trees.
The seasoning is made by grinding up the drupes to create a powder. Once believed to hold many healing properties, it was used in half a dozen medieval medicinal remedies.
Great on many dishes, sumac is consumed throughout the Middle East and other parts of the world too. Try it on Mediterranean Hummus or sprinkle it over a falafel.
Some grocery stores carry sumac in the baking aisle, or you can try a Halal market if you have one nearby. Otherwise, you can order some on Amazon.
What Does Fattoush Mean in Lebanese?
The word fattoush is derived from the Arabic word fatteh which translates literally into “crumbs.”
As the name implies, Lebanese fattoush consists of seasonal vegetables with a delightfully tangy dressing and plenty of toasty pita pieces throughout. Basically speaking, it is the Middle Eastern version of a garden salad with croutons.
Can You Make Fattoush Salad Ahead of Time?
You can chop up your vegetables, toast your pita bread, and mix up your dressing ahead of time as long as you wait to toss everything together.
Chopped, undressed vegetables will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Stored separately, in an airtight container, the dressing is good for up to a month in the fridge.
Once the two are tossed together, you’ll want to eat your fattoush within 24 hours for the crispest veggies possible.
To maximize texture even more, always add the crunchy pita pieces right before serving. Toasted pita pieces are good at room temperature in a Ziploc for as long as they keep their crunch, usually around 3-5 days.
What To Serve With Lebanese Fattoush
- Have fattoush as part of an appetizer plate served up with Mediterranean Hummus, sliced veggies, and more pita chips.
- Make it a light lunch by adding some chicken, fish, or other protein.
- For a soup and salad extravaganza, make a batch of Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe to serve together.
- Enjoy it as a starter for poultry dishes like Fesenjan (Walnut Pomegranate Chicken), Iraqi Grilled Chicken, or Grilled Saffron Chicken.
- Serve bread salad with your favorite lamb or beef dishes like Kafta (with Beef or Lamb), Lamb Shawarma (Shredded), or Lebanese Vermicelli Rice with Meat (Hashweh).
- For a vegetarian meal, have fattoush alongside this Master Falafel Recipe and a healthy serving of Persian Saffron Rice with Apricot.
This recipe post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes February, 2021, was updated with new content, photos and/or video in May 2023.
Lebanese Fattoush Bread Salad
- 1 head romaine lettuce cut into 1 inch ribbons
- 3 medium tomatoes Roma preferred cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 small cucumber Persian preferred peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper cut into 1 inch strips
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 2 cups arugula salad greens
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley rough chop
- 10 sprigs of mint leaves shredded
- Cut or tear the pita into large pieces. Spread on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place under the broiler until crisp and browned, turning them over once. Set aside. When cool, break into smaller pieces.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and sumac (See Note 1). Set aside.
- Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix together. Pour salad dressing over salad, add toasted pita and toss to mix just before serving.
- I use an immersion blender to whip the dressing together.
- Adapted from Claudia Roden.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.