Fattoush: Lebanese Veggie Salad ♥

Fattoush (Middle Eastern Salad with Romaine, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Fried Pita Chips and Lemon-Sumac Dressing)
2011 UPDATE

I finally figured out what a "real" fattoush salad is --
and the pita chips are definitely required!

See my new post and recipe at

Fattoush (Traditional Middle Eastern Salad)
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2006 ORIGINAL Even if you don't call it 'fattoush', the ingredients are so familiar I'm willing to bet a similar salad has emerged from most kitchens. Still, it took three tries to get it right for my palate.

The basics are chopped cucumber and tomato with generous portions of parsley and mint in a lemon juice and olive oil dressing ... with toasted pita chunks stirred in at the last minute (like panzanella has bread chunks).

Fattoush #1 The veggies / parsley / mint were great but the dressing was so lackluster that leftovers were doused in bottled dressing. The pita chunks got mushy instantly.






Fattoush #2 With a little research, I learned that sumac, the ruddy-red Middle Eastern spice I've had my eye on for awhile,K is often used in the dressing and chopped romaine is added to the salad. The sumac worked! The romaine didn't (the salad turned more lettuce-y than seemed right).

I skipped the pita chunks but served good bread and sweet butter alongside: gorgeous.

Fattoush #3: A repeat of the sumac dressing, all vegetables, cilantro instead of parsley, good bread to dunk into the dressing remnants. Very good!! The sumac makes it just a bit different without being 'weird'. So this suits my palate ... but yours may be different so ... experiment away until you get it right for YOU.

FOR THE RECORD ... This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn's Kitchen. It might be sumac's first-ever appearance there!

FATTOUSH (#3)
Bookmark or print Fattoush
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes

Note: quantities given are enough for 4 generous side salads
Chopped English cucumber (1/3 of a cucumber)
Quartered grape tomatoes (4 ounces)
Chopped radishes (3 radishes)
Chopped yellow pepper (1/2 yellow pepper)
Chopped green onion (2 green onions)
Parsley (I preferred cilantro, about 1/4 cup)
Mint (1/4 cup)

DRESSING (enough for quantities above)
Juice of a lemon or lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

PITA CHUNKS (traditional but not to my taste)
Toast torn pieces of pita in the oven and stir in at the last minute.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
(With 4 servings) Per Serving: 60 Cal (50% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 7 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NetCarb5; 43 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 18 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point


(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

12 comments:

I have sumac around here somewhere!! (it was part of a blogging-by-mail package)...this looks perfect for summer.

Looks great! I'm excited to mooch off your trial and error!

You're right, this is a first for sumac. The salad sounds good. I like the addition of radishes. My friend Massoud (who is from Iran) makes this with lots and lots of parsley and mint compared to the amount of tomatoes and cucumbers. He sometimes soaks the pita in dressing before he adds it to the salad too, so there's another idea. For those who don't know about sumac, it's commonly used in Zaatar, a mixture of sumac, thyme, and sesame seeds, sometimes combined with olive oil and used as a dip for pita. (I'm actually writing about that on Friday when I review a restaurant I went to with Rand, more proof that we are channeling each other!)

I could go for some of that right now! Lovely salad - I must try this one!

Funny how politics can affect the names that we give to food. I grew up calling this "Israeli salad." I've also seen it referred to as "Arab salad," which is probably more accurate. In any case, the Lebanese certainly don't have a monopoly on finely chopped vegetables with lemon juice, olive oil, and mint.

I love Fattoush and Panzanella. I even have sumac.

I love Fattoush. The best I ever had was in Pittsburgh. I'm glad for this recipe. Now, I can try it. Thanks!

Paz

I tried Fattoush for the first time in Greece and immediately loved it! I'm always scrounging around for a good recipe for it...thanks for haring this! :) Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to come by sumac where I am though...

I was planning panzanella for dinner for guests tomorrow night, until I read your recipe for fattoush. I'd forgotten how much I used to love it at Cedars Restaurant in Boston more than 20 years ago. Our neighborhood then was heavily Lebanese/Syrian, with a pita bakery on one block, and two groceries just down the street. Thanks for reminding me about fattoush!

I have been looking around to see if anyone know the real Lebanese fattoush but so far i have found none. If you go to Lebanon this is how it's served:

-Chopped Lettuce
-Chopped Small cucumber
-Chopped regular firm tomatoes
-Chopped raddish
-Chopped fresh mint
-Onion (doesn't matter what type, it's what you like)
-Sumac,salt, olive oil and lemon as you like, but it should have a bit of lemonish taste to it.

The final trick is deep frying pita bread untill it turns light brown and crispy. Then you break it and add it to the salad right before it's served.

Enjoy!!!!

That's great, Nathali, thanks so much! My final version wasn't too far off, I think, yes?!

SUPER, Learning lots about sumac thank you, it really is the perfect hidden ingredient to give a salad of this accord the edge. I'm trying to write a eastern salad for a raw menu. Its going to have to be called tabbouleh, i think? Because its based on this. Sprouted Red Quinoa Taboulleh salad with cherry tom's, spring onion, sprouted chickpeas, kalamata olives, mint & parsley. Sumac dressing served with hummus, nut-feta and flax seed crisp-breads. I think its more of a taboulleh then a fattoush, any opinion?

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