This delicious Middle Eastern fattoush salad combines fresh veggies and herbs with crispy pita chips and a sumac dressing. Great as an appetizer or served with protein for a full meal.
Salads! I’ve missed you! You may have read this in my first pregnancy update but I was not craving salads or fresh veggies during my first trimester. All I wanted was bread and pasta… basically, ALL THE CARBS to curb my nausea.
But thankfully I’m over that and back to wanting fresh veggies including lots of salads again. Just in time for all the summer recipes!
What is Fattoush Salad?
Fattoush salad is a traditional Middle Eastern salad that originated in Syria. It’s typically made with fried pieces of flatbread, herbs, and vegetables (typically radishes cucumbers and tomatoes) all chopped and mixed together. The vegetables are usually chopped a bit larger than they are for tabbouleh, another popular Mediterranean salad.
Fattoush salad is typically tossed with a lemon and olive oil dressing that includes sumac, an essential Middle Eastern spice that has a tart flavor similar to lemon juice or vinegar.
Ground sumac is made from reddish purple berries that are ground into a powder. It’s widely available at Middle Eastern markets, but you can also find it in the spice aisle of most larger grocery stores and on Amazon. I was able to find it at my local Whole Foods.
How to Prep the Pita for Fattoush Salad
Instead of using pan-friend pita bread like the traditional recipe calls for, we’re using my homemade pita chips. You can honestly cook it either way, the important part is just making sure your pita is crispy and not soft. You want to have a little crunch with each bite of salad.
If you want to pan-fry your pita instead of baking it, simply heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place pita pieces into the skillet (making sure not to crowd the pita) and fry in batches until golden brown and crisp. Place on paper towels to drain excess oil.
I personally like the baking method because the pita seems less oily and I add some garlic and salt so it has more flavor as well.
Ingredients in Fattoush Salad
Pro tip: If you have a salad chopper bowl (aka one of my favorite kitchen items) you can throw all of the ingredients for fattoush salad in the bowl and chop them up or you can pre-chop your ingredients and then simply mix together! Here’s what you need:
Persian cucumbers – a normal cucumber or an English cucumber will work here too, but Persian cucumbers are used in the traditional recipe.
cherry tomatoes – these little guys add such great flavor to the salad.
radishes – I love the added flavor and crunch the radishes add!
romaine lettuce – I prefer to use romaine as it adds such a great crunch to this salad and the texture holds up nicely with the other veggies. That said, feel free to use a different green here. Mixed spring greens or leaf lettuce would work well.
parsley and mint – fresh herbs are key for this salad. Don’t skip these!
pita chips – I made my homemade pita chips for this recipe, but you can use store-bought pita chips or pan-fried pita bread (see my note above for how to pan-fry your pita).
sumac lemon dressing – a super simple dressing made of fresh garlic, lemon juice, white balsamic or white wine vinegar, olive oil, ground sumac, salt and pepper.
What to Serve with Fattoush Salad
Fattoush is an awesome appetizer or side salad to pair with just about any main dish. It can also easily be turned into a meal-sized salad with some added protein. Here are some pairing ideas:
I prefer to enjoy this salad right away, but if you want to make this salad ahead of time I would just leave off the pita chips and dressing until right before serving otherwise everything will get soggy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Make pita chips: Prep and bake pita chips according to the linked recipe. Let cool.
Make dressing: In a bowl whisk together garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, sumac, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Assemble salad: In a large bowl toss together cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, romaine, parsley and mint with the lemon dressing. Break pita chips into pieces and add half into the bowl with the salad. Toss.
Serve: Plate salad and top each portion with extra broken pita pieces. Serve immediately.
Make the full batch of pita chips and you’ll have about 8 extra pita chips to snack on later.
Feta is totally optional, but it makes a delicious topping for this salad as well!