This week, we’re sharing a Levantine classic: Fattoush.
Its name derived from the Arabic word fatt, meaning “breaking” or “crumbling,” fattoush is a bread salad that's popular in the Levant region, found in the modern states of Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq and Syria. It is a variant of fatteh or fatta, a family of dishes that use stale bread as the base (much like the Italian panzanella).
Fattoush incorporates torn pieces of pita or lavash that have been toasted or fried, plus greens (typically romaine) and vegetables/herbs such as radish, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, mint and parsley. The salad gets dressed in a light vinaigrette, commonly made with olive oil, lemon, salt and sumac, a spice that adds extra tartness. Optional additions include feta or Tzfat cheese, garlic, olives, peppers and pomegranate.
The light, refreshing dish makes a perfect lunch, side with dinner, or addition to a mezze — a selection of small dishes served as an appetizer or to accompany drinks.
This recipe, from Food Network, uses toasted, golden brown pita bread that gets torn into pieces and tossed with romaine, fresh mint and parsley, and a lemon-garlic vinaigrette, among other bright ingredients.
Fattoush (Peasant Salad)
2 cups shredded lettuce (romaine and/or iceberg)
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, diced small
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley, leaves only, no stems
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves, no stems
1/2 to 1 green pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon sumac
2 pieces of pita bread (or other flatbread)
For the dressing:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
Toast pita bread until golden brown and break into quarter-size pieces.
In a small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients well.
Put all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with 1/2 to 1 cup dressing. Serve immediately.