Fattoush Salad

fattoush salad in a blue bowl

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Jacqueline Rafidi

Fattoush salad, with its inviting, bright colors and tangy pomegranate dressing, is the salad to make with any meal when you’re looking a side dish bursting with flavor. 

This salad, said to have originated in Northern Lebanon, is enjoyed throughout the Levant where it is one of the most loved and favorite salads. Others like tabbouleh and a simple middle eastern salad are also well loved and enjoyed on tables with full Arab meals as well. Each one has their own flavor that makes them unique and fattoush happens to be one of my favorite for 2 reasons – the pita croutons and the tangy, pomegranate dressing.

The pita chips in this salad are typically made from day-old pita bread in an attempt to make use of every ingredient without putting things to waste. These pita chips are also a foundational part of the dish “fatteh” where the croutons are placed on a plate and topped with hummus, tahini, chickpeas, and sometimes meat. 

What is Fattoush Salad made of?

It’s so simple to make a fattoush salad. You need basic ingredients and you can really switch it up based on what you have or what you like. The dressing and pita chips are what really make this salad shine! 

fattoush salad in a blue bowl

Salad Ingredients:
The vegetables:

The greens – I tend to use romaine lettuce, but iceberg lettuce or any leafy greens really would work here. If you know you’ll have extras that you plan to store in the fridge, a sturdier lettuce like romaine would work best.

The fresh herbs – Fresh parsley and mint are my favorites to use here, but add cilantro too if you want! Instead of fresh mint, you could also crush up some dried mint between your hands right on top of the salad. Chop up the fresh herbs finely and throw them in, those little green flecks are so pretty!

Purslane – A very common ingredient in a traditional fattoush salad. Purslane, or what we call in Arabic, baqleh (بقلة), is a wild green with a thicker stem and leaves. If you can find them at your local grocery stores or Middle Eastern stores, chop the leaves up and add them into the salad as well.

The veggies – As with any salad, the veggies here should be the freshest, crisp and best quality you can find to ensure the best flavor. Switch things up with whatever seasonal vegetables you enjoy and have on hand. Here’s what I use:
Cucumbers: Persian cucumbers are my favorite because they have less water and the skin is thin. If you can’t find them, English cucumber or hot house cucumber both work here too. Chop them up into bite size pieces.
Tomatoes: Vine ripe tomatoes are the best here – especially when they’re room temperature to maximize the flavor. I love these because they have a sweet and tangy taste without any graininess that larger tomatoes sometimes have. Roma tomatoes also work as well, many prefer them because they have less juice/seeds. If you have grape or cherry tomatoes, just cut them in half and add them to the salad.
Bell peppers: I like to use a mix of red and green peppers for extra color and flavor. The red bell pepper has more of a sweetness and the green is more earthy. Mix it up with yellow or orange if you like. Chop them up into bite size pieces and add it in.
Onions: Green onions also get chopped up and added into the salad for a little peppery bite. 
Raddish: A MUST for me in this. The fresh crunch in this salad is everything!

Add the lettuce to a large bowl and arrange the top with all the colorful vegetables! But what really makes this a fattoush salad recipe is the pita chips and the dressing!

The pita chips: You can use homemade or store bought here. Homemade pita chips will of course taste the best because you’ll be frying them in good quality oil over medium heat until they’re golden brown and you can season them however you like once they’re hot out of the fryer. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any extra oil. You can also spray them with olive oil and bake or air fry them on a baking sheet as well as an alternative to frying. 

Similar to other bread salads, like Italian panzanella, these pita croutons are what make this a fattoush recipe. If you’re making them and have stale pita bread, this is the best way to repurpose it (even if you’re not making this salad!). Leftover pita bread can can be cut into small, bite-sized pieces and cooked up to make the topping for this classic Middle Eastern salad.

The dressing: Along with the pita croutons, the fattoush dressing makes this amazing salad what it is. 
Extra virgin olive oil –​ Of course. Get the best quality possible.
Pomegranate molasses – You can use the sour or the sweet one here. If you have the sour one, you may want to use a touch of honey to add a bit of sweetness and balance the sour.
Sumac: The more purple the better. It should be a vibrant color, not a dull brown color. The bright color will indicate freshness as well as a slightly wet look. This is the best quality of sumac. Local Middle Eastern stores should have them in stock!
Lemon juice: ​ALWAYS fresh – never pre squeezed. Add some lemon zest in there too if you choose.
Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all the dressing ingredients up in a small bowl or glass jar.

When you’re ready to serve, top with the pita chips (or keep them on the side), add the tangy dressing and toss it together. Enjoy this salad with kifta burgers, on the side of adas w irkak (lentil and handmade noodle soup), Or with chicken shawarma sandwiches or bowls!

Tips for making the best fattoush

1. If you plan to chop the veggies ahead of time and put the salad together, do not put the croutons OR the dressing on the salad until you’re ready to serve. 
2. At the time of serving, it’s also ok to dress and toss the fattoush salad and keep the pita croutons on the side to preserve the crunchiness. This tip is especially helpful if they croutons are baked vs fried where they would become soggy faster.
3. Do not chop the salad more then a couple hours in advance. It’s always best to chop fresh vegetables just before you need them.
4. Shake up extra of the pomegranate fattoush dressing and keep it in the fridge in a mason jar. 
5. Switch it up! Use any seasonal fruit you have on hand pomegranate seeds in the winter, roasted eggplant in the summer, beets in the fall, carrots in the spring!

When you make this fattoush salad, comment down below and rate this recipe to let me know your thoughts! Also, share a picture or tag me on Instagram @thebitewithjackie, I love seeing your remakes!

fattoush salad in a blue bowl

Fattoush Salad

Fattoush salad, with its inviting, bright colors and tangy pomegranate dressing, is the salad to make with any meal when you're looking a side dish bursting with flavor. 
Course Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 4 raddishes cut in half moon shapes
  • 1-2 to matoes diced
  • 2-3 Persian cucumbers diced
  • ½ green bell pepper diced
  • ½ red bell pepper diced
  • ½ bunch parsley chopped fine
  • 6-10 leaves fresh mint chopped fine (optional: can substitute for crumbled dry mint)
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • Fried pita bread for topping*

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sumac
  • 1-2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.
  • Combine all salad ingredients except the fried pita bread in a serving bowl. Mix all the veggies together. When read to serve, drizzle on the dressing and top with the fried pita bread or serve the fried pita bread on the side.
  • *Note: You can make your own pita chips by slicing pita bread into squares and frying on each side until golden brown or bake them in the oven with some olive oil until golden and crispy.
Keyword Fattoush Salad

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