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.