Fattoush Salad with a Mint Sumac Dressing
Updated: Jun 20
Fattoush is a “bread salad,” something like the Italian Panzanella, using stale or a day old bread.
Fattoush salad is consumed all over the Middle East. The salad was built on the idea that farmers would use leftover stale bread and soak it with seasonal vegetables and herbs to create a more hearty fulfilling & rather an inexpensive meal.
Bread plays an important part of meals in the Middle East. Its absolutely delicious warm to dip in a plate of creamy hummus, to make a falafel sandwich or to mop the bottom of the stew pot. But because much of the bread that is consumed is a flatbread “khubez, and the most known one is a pita bread, it dries out and becomes stale pretty quickly.
Arab cooks don’t like to waste anything so they put the day old bread to good use. In fact a whole food category was built on “fatteh” or stale bread.
In Arabic the word “fatt فت “ means to scatter or crush. And the word futat فتات means crumbles. So a whole family of home dishes and preparations were created based on this concept.
Popular examples of fatteh applications like fatteh makdous, a delicious eggplant and bread dish. Fatteh Djaj; a chicken, bread and rice dish, and the popular fatteh hummus; creamy hummus and chickpeas layered on top of crispy bread. And I am sure there is more.
This is a basic Fattoush recipe that's eaten all over the Levantine. In my family it was often eaten in the summer were vegetables and herbs are at their peek and with every BBQ.
You can experiment around with other vegetables but the original recipe is my absolute favorite. And it’s not a Fattoush salad unless it has bread and sumac the absolute must ingredients for me. Although some might add pomegranate molasses.
Have a Fattoushtasitic day.
1 head Romain lettuce washed and dried and chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
3 small Persian cucumbers or one large English cucumber diced
1 bell pepper chopped
Radishes shaved about 4-5 radishes
3 green onions chopped
1 Cup or a small bunch fresh Italian parsley chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
1 cup purslane or a small bunch leaves picked
2 pita breads about 7 inch cut into bite size pieces
Juice of 2 lemons
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sumac
Salt to taste
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp dried mint leaves
To make the dressing:
Add all the Ingredients to a mason jar
Shake well to combine
Preheat the oven to 425F (8-10 min)
Place bread in a baking sheet and toast in the oven until completely dried out and toasted ( we are looking for crispy bread but not burnt) set aside to cool.
Assemble the salad:
Combine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, scallions, radishes, bell pepper, purslane, mint and chopped parsley.
Toss the vegetables to combine. Add the dressing when ready to serve.
Top the lettuce with the crispy pita right before serving to avoid getting the bread soggy.