This Fattoush Salad recipe features a delightful mix of crisp greens, vegetables, and herbs, along with crunchy toasted pita chips, all tossed in a tangy and refreshing Mediterranean dressing.
Fattoush Salad is a staple dish in Lebanese restaurants and throughout the Middle East. This fresh and vibrant salad features seasonal vegetables and is topped with crispy fried pita bread, making it a perfect complement to chicken and beef dishes.
What is Fattoush Salad?
Fattoush Salad is a Mediterranean dish consisting of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and fried pita bread. It also typically includes green onions, mint and parsley. The name "fattoush" comes from the Arabic word "fatteh," meaning "crumbs," referring to the seasoned and fried or baked pita bread in the salad. There are no strict guidelines for the vegetables used in Fattoush, making it a versatile base recipe to customize to your liking.
What is in Fattoush Salad?
- Lettuce: You can use either romaine or iceberg lettuce, or a combination of both, depending on your preference.
- Parsley and mint: They add a fresh and bright flavor to the salad. Be sure to chop herbs finely so that they blend in well with the other ingredients.
- Tomatoes: Larger varieties like roma or vine tomatoes are commonly used, but you can also use smaller ones like cherry or grape tomatoes.
- Cucumbers: Persian cucumbers are the most popular choice for this salad, but you can use any variety of cucumber.
- Green onions: They have a sweeter and milder flavor than other types of onions, making them a great addition to the salad.
- Radishes: They add a mild spicy and zesty flavor that's crisp and fresh.
- Pita bread: Toast or fry the pita bread or use store-bought pita bread chips as a convenient and time-saving alternative. You can get them at Arabic bakeries or specialty Middle Eastern grocery stores.
- Sumac: It's a reddish-purple spice that's made from dried and crushed sumac berries. It has a tangy, lemony flavor that adds a bright, acidic note to the salad.
Fattoush Salad Dressing
This zesty dressing made with pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, dried mint, salt and pepper is what sets authentic Fattoush salad apart from all others. It brings all the flavors of the salad together with a unique and distinguished taste.
How to Make Fattoush Salad
- To make the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, pomegranate molasses, dried mint, salt, and pepper in a bowl. While whisking continuously, slowly add olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Set the dressing aside.
- For the salad, add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, green onions, mint, and parsley to a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Just before serving, garnish with sumac and add the pita bread chips to the salad. Drizzle with extra pomegranate molasses if desired.
Here are some tips to help make your Fattoush Salad recipe even better:
- Use the freshest ingredients possible for the best flavor.
- Keep the fried pita bread chips separate until just before serving to prevent them from getting soggy.
- Make the dressing in a blender or small food processor to ensure it's properly emulsified.
- Press or grate the garlic to keep it fine when mixing the dressing ingredients by hand.
Prep all the ingredients, including the dressing and fried pita chips, and keep them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, mix the vegetables and herbs together in a large bowl, add the dressing, and toss to combine. Top with the fried pita chips just before serving to ensure they stay crispy.
You can store the salad in an airtight container for up to 4 days if it hasn't been tossed. However, if it has been tossed, it's best to enjoy it within 24 hours as it may become soggy after that. The dressing can be kept well in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you haven't tossed the salad yet, you can store it in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. However, if you have already mixed the salad with the dressing, it's best to consume it within 24 hours since it will become soggy over time. The dressing, on the other hand, can be stored separately in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Toss the pita bread, olive oil, and pepper in a baking dish and bake at 425°F for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pita bread you use. This will make the bread crispy and golden, without the added oil from frying.
Fattoush salad pairs well with a variety of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, such as Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Tabbouleh, grilled meats or fish, and Falafel. It also makes a great side dish for a barbecue or potluck. Additionally, you can serve it with some warm pita bread on the side to complete the meal.
- Protein additions: You can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu to make the salad more filling and protein-packed.
- Vegetable substitutions: Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables in the recipe for your favorites. Roasted beets, carrots, or bell peppers would all be delicious.
- Cheese: Try adding some crumbled feta cheese or fresh goat cheese to the salad for a creamy tang.
- Different bread: If you don't have pita bread on hand, you can try using other types of bread, such as naan or lavash.
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