Fattoush is particularly delish in the hot summer months when you’re looking for something cool and fresh, with tons of crunch. A dressing made of lemon, mint, and a pinch of cayenne pepper perk up this already zippy salad. Fried pita croutons are the perfect finishing touch.
We simply can’t get enough of this colorful assortment of fresh vegetables, tangy lemon dressing, and crunchy fried pita. That’s pretty high praise for a salad. No wonder fattoush is so wildly popular throughout the Middle East.–Angie Zoobkoff
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CAN I ADD ANYTHING ELSE TO FATTOUSH?
Fattoush is most often made with a green called bakleh—in North America, it’s called purslane. If you can find it, it’s a brilliant addition to the salad, replacing some or all of the lettuce. This salad is a terrific way to use whatever’s in season and what you have on hand. A popular veggie to add is radish, cut into chunks for mild bursts of spicy freshness.
Fattoush ~ Vegetable and Pita Salad
- Mild vegetable oil for frying
- 1 large Syrian flatbread or 2 to 3 standard pitas torn into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 pound cucumbers skin on, cut into small cubes (about 4 cups)
- 1 pound tomatoes cut into small cubes (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 head green lettuce such as romaine, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 small green bell pepper finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried mint leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup water (optional)
- 3/4 cup chopped parsley (both leaves and tender stems)
- Line a large plate with paper towels. In a large pot set over medium-high heat, add 2 inches (5 cm) vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the pita and fry until golden brown, flipping the pieces occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Keep a careful watch on the pita as they can go from done to burnt in an instant. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, move the pita to the paper towel lined plate to drain.
- In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, green pepper, and onion. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, mint, and cayenne. If your tomatoes and cucumbers aren’t overly juicy, then go ahead and pour in a little water. Toss to combine. Add the parsley and toss again.
- Divide the salad among serving bowls or plates and top with the fried pita. Individual guests can toss the ingredients together in the bowl before eating.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Categorize this fattoush salad as an absolute show stopper! The toasty pita pieces soaked up the wonderfully flavorful and refreshing vinaigrette, and you could easily be tempted to eat this salad as a meal in itself. I didn’t add the optional water as my veggies were very juicy and I didn’t want to dilute the vinaigrette’s flavor. I actually chopped my veggies first and had them holding in my bowl while I fried the pita. After finishing the pita, I finished up the salad with the vinaigrette ingredients, so I had plenty of accumulated juices to soak up.
Definitely a keeper in my book.
I love fattoush and think it is such a great salad, especially in the summer. When I’ve made it before, I’ve always baked the pita so I was interested to see how frying it would work. It’s perfect. Plus, you don’t have to turn on your oven which is always a welcome bonus when it’s hot outside. Oh, and did I mention it only takes about 10 minutes to make?
I found the timing of everything to be quite accurate. You definitely want the pita on top and don’t really want it to sit for any length of time because the pita can become soggy.
I try to serve a salad with most dinner menus I put together. The freshness of seasonal veggies alongside whatever your main dish is always lightens everything up and is always a welcomed, healthy accompaniment. This fattoush salad was just that and more, filled with a crunchy mixture of thinly sliced romaine lettuce, cucumbers, white onion, and green peppers. I liked that these ingredients were all chopped finely. This preparation made for a lovely texture with each and every bite of the salad.
I had some really nice ripe heirloom tomatoes from our CSA box this week which were super juicy and just the right tomatoes for this simple salad. All of these prepared veggies are tossed with a light and simple lemon-olive oil vinaigrette which keeps things lightened up, and I loved the additional of dried sweet mint and spicy cayenne pepper in the dressing as well. Finishing the salad with chopped fresh parsley only adds to the freshness and beautiful combination of colors here. But wait! As tasty as this salad is sounding so far, it just wouldn’t be a traditional fattoush without pita bread. One of the main reasons I was drawn to this recipe was the crisp topping of lightly fried pita bread. The toasty morsels of bread really add yet another layer of delectable crunch to the salad and a unique spin on things. We really liked this salad and it was lovely paired with some grilled lamb chops and some roasted spaghetti squash flavored with fresh basil and crumbled feta cheese.
I would like to try this salad sometime maybe with some crumbled Greek feta cheese for a touch of creaminess and extra tang.
I thought this recipe for fattoush was very good. We ate the whole thing as our dinner. We had parsley fresh from the garden and OH MY, fresh herbs from the garden make all the difference.
We added about 2 tablespoons of water and I was skeptical until I ate the salad and realized all the tasty juicy stuff on the bottom was manna and I had to go to get a bit of baguette to finish it. The pita croutons didn’t quite soak it up.
If I changed one thing it would be to add a bit more parsley and absolutely use fresh mint. I think one would do well to taste the dressing before just blindly adding the “juice of one lemon.” Lemons differ in taste and size. This salad is a keeper, though.
This fattoush is a quick and effortless side dish. Great for the summer or to whip up on a weekday.