Fattoush is the best-known Middle Eastern salad, after tabbouleh. It is a very fresh summer salad. Its main feature, or what differentiates it from any other western salad, in addition to its dressing, is that it contains toasted pita bread as one of its main ingredients. In fact, the Arabic word fattoush means “soaked bread”, alluding to this characteristic ingredient.
Fattoush is a typical salad of Lebanese and Syrian gastronomy. In addition to toasted Arabic bread, it contains a mixture of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, and aromatic herbs such as parsley or mint. Additionally, there are those who prepare it with green pepper, stuffed olives or Kalamata olives, and feta cheese. However, the recipes for Fattoush may change depending on the country and the cook. For example, most Palestinian cooks tend to do without lettuce. So, the vegetables can be variable, but to preserve the essence of the recipe it is imperative to keep the pita bread and the Fattoush dressing.
Perfect dressing for Fattoush
The importance of salad dressing is indisputable, and Fattoush is no exception. In the countries of the Middle East, this salad is accompanied by a sour dressing with sweet notes. The dressing is made from pomegranate molasses, mixed with sumac, lemon juice, and olive oil.
There are some chefs who add weirder ingredients like cinnamon, pomegranate seeds, or orange juice.
Salt and pepper should never be lacking, of course.
What vegetables are essential for the Fattoush?
A good Fattoush must have an interesting mix of vegetables, the more colorful, the salad will be much more attractive. But like everything, there are some essential ingredients and others that are good supplements. Here we will leave them in order of importance.
1. Cucumber. Try to choose a thin cucumber, and cut it into very thin slices, or into cubes. No need to peel it.
2. Tomatoes. The best choice is cherry tomatoes cut in half. If you don't have cherry tomatoes, you can use any variety of tomatoes.
3. Radishes. Radishes add color and a spicy and crunchy touch at the same time. Use one or two.
4. Onion. Onion is another ingredient that should not be missing in this salad. Try to choose the red onion to enhance the presence of the Fattoush.
5. Lettuce: In some countries, they prefer not to use lettuce, but we suggest adding it. The lettuce in addition to providing freshness gives volume to the salad.
6. Herbs: Always try to add mint and parsley. They give an exceptional flavor to the salad.
7. Paprika: If you want to add paprika, prefer the green pepper. We at Boxed Halal, skip it.
8. Avocado: Avocado is another optional, but enjoyable ingredient in a Fattoush.
Recipe to make the famous vegetable salad with arabic bread, fattoush
1 romaine lettuce, 150 g
2 large tomatoes, 200 g.
2 radishes, 60 g.
1 small red onion, 60 g.
1 small cucumber, 110 g.
2 large pita, pieces of bread
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of wine vinegar (if you don't have wine vinegar, you can use white vinegar)
½ teaspoon of sumac
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
A pinch of pepper
For the salad:
For the dressing:
Place a skillet over medium heat. On top of the skillet, put the pita bread, and toast for about three to five minutes until it is toasted and easy to break with your hands. Remove the bread from the pan and cut it into large pieces. Reserve.
Wash the cucumber, radishes, and tomatoes very well. Chop finely into slices and reserve. Cut the tomatoes in half, extract the seeds, and then chop them into cubes.
Separate the lettuce leaves and rinse them under running water before using them. If necessary, you can soak the leaves for a few minutes in vinegar water. Drain the lettuces, and arrange them in the bottom of the salad bowl. It should form a "bed of lettuce."
Peel the onion and cut it into thin slices. Separate them into rings.
On the lettuce place the radishes, tomatoes, cucumber, and chopped onion. Stir a little and reserve.
In a small bowl, add all the dressing ingredients: pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, vinegar, sumac, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir vigorously until the mixture is well emulsified. If you don't have pomegranate molasses, you can add half a teaspoon of honey.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Lastly, place the pita pieces on top, and serve immediately.