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Fattoush is a Lebanese salad of crisp lettuce, crunchy vegetables, toasted bites of pita bread and a tangy sumac dressing! A perfect way to use leftover pita bread, this fattoush salad recipe comes together in minutes and is hearty enough to be a meal on its own.
You may have noticed that I have a thing for bread salads, like this Caesar Salad with a giant crouton, this reinvention of a muffuletta sandwich as a salad or this cornbread salad. So when we had leftover pita bread (made with this easy pita bread recipe) it made perfect sense to add a Mediterranean version: Fattoush!
Fattoush salads have a nearly endless list of possible ingredients from radishes and romaine to purslane, parsley leaves, and pomegranate seeds! You can also add green onions, a sprinkle of feta or za’atar, or a handful of black or green olives. Go with what looks best at your grocery store or farmer’s market. In my mind, there are only two rules: get your torn bits of pita nicely toasted so you get that delicious crunch in every bite (you can use pita chips in a pinch), and don’t skip the sumac in your dressing – there’s no other spice quite like it! And speaking of sumac…
Sumac spice is made by grinding the berries of a sumac bush into a coarse powder and has a flavor somewhere between tangy citrus and delicately floral. You might be tempted to try a substitution if you don't keep ground sumac in your spice cabinet, but I hope you won't. It has a distinct flavor that's worth seeking out.
How to make Fattoush Salad:
Step 1: Toss torn pita bread in olive oil and season with salt. toast in a single layer at 350˚F on a baking sheet until crisp.
Step 2: Make dressing by whisking lemon juice, honey, garlic, sumac, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl until honey dissolves. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until combined.
Step 3: Add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and fresh mint leaves to a large bowl. Pour desired amount of dressing over and toss to coat. Top with toasted pita croutons and serve.
For Crispy Pita Bites
- 2 pita breads
- ¼ cup olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey or pomegranate molasses (see recipe note)
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or more
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 head romaine lettuce torn into bite size pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 English cucumber or 3 or 4 Persian cucumbers, halved and thinly sliced
- ½ medium red onion thinly sliced and separated in to ½ circles
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves torn into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut pitas in half. Separate the top from the bottom and tear into bite size pieces. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and season with kosher salt. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, tossing once, until pita pieces are crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a bowl to keep from over browning. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, make dressing. In a small bowl combine first 6 dressing ingredients (garlic through black pepper); whisk until combined and honey has dissolved. Add olive oil in a slow but steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently to combine.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and gently toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle crispy pita bites over the top and serve!
- For a vegan version of this vegetarian salad, use pomegranate molasses instead of honey.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Your post reminded me that I haven't made a fattoush salad since we moved to Florida three years ago. It is funny how you can totally forget about a dish that you really enjoy. To me what I like about fattoush is the sumac...the ingredient that really makes the salad special.
I agree completely, Karen. Sumac is a truly special ingredient - nothing like it!
Kelly | Foodtasia says
Marissa, this salad looks so fresh and delicious! Love the torn pita croutons. I was so drooling over this when I saw your video on Instagram. Love it!
Thanks so much, Kelly!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Lol...I have noticed that you have a thing for salads...though, when they look as good as the ones you make I can totally understand why!! I could eat this every single day. Looks super fresh! Pinned! Hope you're having a fab week, my friend! XO
haha! You're on to me, Dawn. I DO love a good salad. 😉 Hope you're having a great week too!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
This is a great way to use up some of that leftover pita bread! Plus, adding bread to the salad would ensure it is hearty enough for a meal. This is something I could eat for lunch every day for a week!!
Thanks, Katherine! The toasted pita bites definitely add that extra oomph! 😉
Next time I'm at Penzey's, I'll pick up some sumac! Perfect for lunch---especially as the weather warms up!!
Thanks, Liz! I think you'll love it!
David @ Spiced says
I still need to try this salad out! I'll have to keep an eye out for sumac. (Is it bad that my mind immediately goes to 'poison sumac' when I hear sumac?) I know it's not the same, but still! I love trying new spices, so I'll have to watch for sumac in the store around here. Plus, a good salad is hard to beat for these warmer days!
haha...yes, skip the 'poison sumac' 😉 So excited about warmer days and ALL the salads! 🙂
Your salads are always so mouth-watering. I'm loving this one because I love bread in salads and the fresh mint puts it over the top!
aww, thank you, Valentina! I'm the same way - love bread and fresh herbs in salads!
Kevin | Keviniscooking says
I love to just sound this recipe out loud myself.Fa - toooosh, fa - toooosh. Stil can't put my finger on what exactly calls my heart and tastebuds to the Middle East, but I love it.This looks wonderful and I'd toss in some mint and be a happy man. 🙂
haha, it is fun to say... All of the people who follow your blog are rewarded by that love of the Middle East, me included!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I have a thing for bread salads too Marissa! This one looks delicious!
Thank you, Mary Ann!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Marissa, you are the bread salad QUEEN!!! Weeeell, maybe you are just the food in general queen, because I love everything you make! This fattoush salad looks AMAZING!!! I am totally craving this for lunch today... you don't happen to deliver across the US do you? 😉 Pinning to make! Cheers, dear! XOXO
I'd love to deliver a nice big bowl just for you! 😉 Thanks, my friend!!
David @ Spiced says
This salad sounds delicious, Marissa! I've heard of fattoush, but I don't think I've ever had it. It sounds a lot like the Lebanese version of a Greek panzanella. Either way, it sounds delicious! Plus, anything with feta gets my stamp of approval! 🙂
Thank you, David!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I'd love to be in salad weather right now! We love this salad during summer-it's so fresh and crunchy! 😀
oh yes, I'm taunting you with this in the middle of your winter! 😉 Thanks, Lorraine!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Bread salads are one of my favorite things in life! I can't think of a better way to use leftover pita :). I MUST try this soon!
Yay! Thanks, Kelsie!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Marissa. This salad is wonderful! In the heat of summer I crave salads, We had a Caesar salad for dinner last night, Gary doesn't like bread in salad, but I think he would enjoy the pita croutons. If not, more for me! 🙂
haha! I love how you think, Dorothy!