Fattoush Salad is ubiquitous in the Middle East. Originally from Lebanon, this salad shares similarities to both greek salads and Italian panzenella salad. The word fattoush is derived from the word fatteh in Arabic which literally means “crumbs.” The crumbs it’s name refers to are the delicious bits of toasted pita bread you mix into the salad. Traditional fattoush has some hard to find ingredients in the states like pomegranate molasses and dried sumac (no, not the rash forming plant). If you can find them (also available on Amazon), we will mention how to use them below, but our recipe will still be delicious with more common American home pantry ingredients. We we promise once you make this, it won’t be the last time you do.
1lb chicken breast (this salad can be made vegetarian as well, or sub in any meat you like. Grilled lamb would be delicious! Maybe even some Kofta!
1-2 cucumbers chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil (for pita)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (for dressing)
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup of parsley chopped
3-6 radishes sliced thin
1/2 cup of fresh mint
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon juiced
1 red or sweet onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of sliced almonds (toast slightly prior is optional but delicious)
1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon of sumac
1. Toast the pita - In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add the pita bread and season with kosher salt and freshly cracker peppers. Cook Fry the pita for about minutes until the pieces are crispy and golden in color. You could also bake the pita bread at 400° for 5-10 minutes.) Set the fried bread aside. PLEASE NOTE: This stage is not a put in the pan and walk away sort of thing. Pita will burn quickly. You should be toasting and flipping the pita regularly making sure it is crisping evenly and not burning. A little char is fine for flavor, but not too much.
2. Cook the chicken - This step can be done the day before if you are strapped for time, or, if you want to be efficient, and avoid cleaning dishes, once the pita is cooked remove it from the pan or baking sheet and you will reuse that for the chicken. Then add a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper to your chicken. Cook fully in your pan for 5-10 minutes or bake until fully cooked for 10 minutes. If it is warm enough to grill outside, grilling is a great option as well. Note - If you found sumac you can also sprinkle your chicken with this before cooking. Zatar is also another spice blend that goes nicely on the chicken. Dried oregano, or your favorite dried herb blend can also be nice. Or keep it simple with salt and pepper. It will be delicious however you choose to do it. When the chicken is fully cooked set aside. You can serve the salad with warm or chilled chicken.
3. Make the dressing - In a large bowl, add the salad dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Also if you got some add pomegranate molasses, sumac. Whisk to combine.
4. Chop your veggies - Rinse and chop lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, onion and parsley to the large bowl of dressing and toss to combine. You want to shop all the veggies into a similar size.
5. Assemble - Toss all your veggies with the dressing. Add the chicken in bit sized pieces (or serve on the side). If adding almonds or raisins (highly recommend) add now. Add pita, breaking it with your hands into bite sized pieces. Toss with the dressing. Taste everything. Dial it in with a pinch of salt, pepper, or squeeze of lemon if needed. The pita will start to soften once added and you want it to have some crunch so serve immediately.