I had my first Fattoush Salad at a little restaurant in Silver Lake with my sister Michele and we both fell in love with it! It is a classic Lebanese salad featuring the spice sumac. Sumac is a large bush, native to the middle east which has red berries that are ground into a coarse powder for seasoning. It is used both in Turkish and middle eastern cooking as a condiment along with salt and pepper. In addition, it can be used in marinades for chicken or meats. Before Romans knew about lemons, they used sumac for its astringent properties.
For this recipe, I chose a spice blend Zahtar which features sumac but has additional ingredients that add even more deliciousness to this salad. In addition to sumac, the blend has toasted sesame, thyme, sea salt, marjoram, oregano and savory. I ordered it from one of my favorite spice stores in Oakland, California called Oaktown Spice Shop but sumac is also available at middle eastern and other specialty markets.
This salad is tangy, herby, crunchy and light.
Tangy from sumac and lemon juice.
Herby from parsley and mint as well as the other herbs in the Zahtar spice mix.
Crunchy from the mix of cucumbers, bell pepper, radish and crunchy pita chips.
And very light. It is a terrific side dish for chicken skewers, hummus and baba ganoush – a classic middle eastern meal.
For a heartier salad that would be a complete meal, I would add slices of ripe avocado which would soak up the flavors and add some richness and heft to this salad.
A crisp, tangy, crunchy salad.
- 2 small pitas cut into small triangles
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
- 1 English hothouse cucumber, sliced into small cubes
- 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into small pieces
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 8 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 ripe tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 3–4 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from 1 lemon
- t teaspoon pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 teaspoon of Za’atar plus more for finishing
Heat a large skillet with the olive oil.
Place the pita triangles into the pan and let cook for 3-4 minutes until brown. Toss and brown the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
Remove from pan and cool.
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until combined. Pour over salad, add pita triangles and toss everything together.
Serve on plates with additional Za’atar on the top of each salad.