Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad

fattoush salad tastefood

~ Fattoush Salad ~

I’ve been on a barbecue bender. It’s not even June, and I need a time-out. This salad presents the perfect interlude. Fattoush is a Middle Eastern garden salad with pita bread. Toasted day-old pita shards serve as croutons while adding flavor and substance to the greens. They also provide a vessel for absorbing the tangy vinaigrette infused with sumac, a ground tart Mediterranean berry found throughout southern Italy and the Middle East. Light, fresh and vegetarian, Fattoush salad is a wonderful antidote to meaty excess and a light and healthy option for easy weeknight dining.

Fattoush TasteFood
Fattoush Salad
Serves 6

Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried sumac
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pita:
2 large pita breads
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt

Salad:
2 cups arugula leaves
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, leaves torn in pieces
1 small bunch Italian parlsey leaves
1 small bunch  fresh mint leaves
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2  English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for garnish

Whisk all of the vinaigrette ingredients, except the olive oil, together in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil in a steady stream until emulsified.

Preheat oven broiler or grill. Brush pita bread with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt. Cut each pita circle in 6 triangles.  Broil or grill, turning once, until crisp and light golden. Remove from heat and cool. Break into pieces.

Combine the pita and the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle half of the vinaigrette over and toss to combine. Add additional vinaigrette to taste and toss again.  Serve garnished with extra feta.

Fattoush Salad

Fattoush Salad

~ Fattoush Salad ~

I don’t know about you, but I think I ate a month’s worth of meat over the weekend. With July 4th falling nicely on a Monday, it meant a 3 day weekend was entirely devoted to barbecues. Our house, friends’ houses, the beach: all locations involved a fire and platters of smoked and grilled ribs, steak, chicken, salmon. Now it’s time for a little break.  To begin this short week, I will invoke a brief barbecue time-out. Dinner tonight will be light, fresh and vegetarian – a Fattoush salad.

Fattoush is a Middle Eastern garden salad with pita bread. Day old pita is toasted, crumbled and tossed with greens in a vinaigrette, adding texture and substance to the salad, while the dressing softens the bread. Extra Mediterranean ingredients, such as olives, feta, mint and sumac (a dried Middle Eastern spice with tart lemony notes) make this salad special and addictively good.  When the weather is warm, this is a perfect easy meal and a nice break from the grill – at least for a day.

~
Fattoush Salad
Serves 6

For the vinaigrette:
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon dried sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:
2 large pita breads
Olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula leaves
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, leaves torn in pieces
1 small bunch Italian parlsey leaves
1 small bunch  fresh cilantro leaves
1 small bunch  fresh mint leaves
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2  English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for garnish

Prepare the vinaigrette:
Mix all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, together in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified.

Prepare salad:
Preheat oven broiler. Brush pita bread with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Cut each pita circle in 6 triangles.  Toast in oven, turning once, until crisp and light golden. Remove from heat and cool.  Break into pieces.
Toss the pita pieces with the arugula, romaine, parsley, cilantro and mint in a large bowl. Scatter the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta over the salad. Drizzle with half of the dressing and toss to combine. Add additional vinaigrette to taste and toss again.  Serve garnished with extra feta.

Fattoush Salad

Fattoush Salad


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Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad made with fresh garden vegetables and toasted bread.  It’s similar in concept to the Italian bread salad, panzanella, a traditional rustic recipe using day-old bread tossed with salad and “refreshed” with dressing.  Fattoush has a significant Middle Eastern influence, with the addition of sumac which gives the salad its characteristically sour flavor, as well as feta cheese, kalamata olives, parsley, coriander, and mint.

Fattoush Salad

Toasted pita bread adds an addictive crunch to this salad. When the grill is going, I like to grill the pita for extra flavor. Serves 4-6 as a light main course or 6-8 side salads.

For the vinaigrette:
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon dried sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:
2 large pita breads
2 cups arugula leaves
1 head romaine lettuce, washed
1 small bunch (about 1/2 cup) Italian parlsey leaves
1 small bunch (about 1/2 cup) fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
1 small bunch (about 1/2 cup) fresh mint leaves
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2  English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for garnish

Prepare the vinaigrette:
Mix all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, together in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified.

Prepare salad:
Preheat oven broiler. Brush pita bread with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Cut each pita circle in 6 triangles.  Toast in oven, turning once, until crispy and golden. Remove from heat and cool.  Break into pieces.
Toss two-thirds of the pita with the arugula, romaine, parsley, cilantro and mint in a large bowl. Scatter the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta over the salad. Drizzle with half of the dressing and toss to combine. Add additional vinaigrette to taste.  Serve garnished with extra feta.