Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fattoush Salad

With pretty sounding name "Fattoush", this Middle Eastern salad is easy to make and no more than garden salad with a couple special Middle Eastern spices - sumac, zaatar and fresh mint These three make up for all that exotic taste.

Blog's Category: International

Fattoush Salad


I wanted to make this salad for a while already. Finally, I bought a huge bags of sumac and zaatar in my favorite Middle Eastern specialty store, had couple pitas in a fridge. Well.. I didn't have any more excuses... Learning from a various sources, I come to conclusion that this salad is somewhat your typical garden salad, infused with very flavorful seasoning - sumac and zaatar. Sumac is seasoning usually used in a generous amounts, it brings a little acidity and very subtle flavor to the dish. Zaatar, I would say, completely opposite - it's extremely aromatic with neutral grassy taste to it. Actually zaatar is a mix of herbs and spices - mostly thyme, sesame seeds and some salt. Zaatar is often mixed with olive oil and eaten on a pita or other breads - it's yummy.

What is it?

Your basic salad vegetables, lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, pepper and garlic, chopped and mixed in with a toasted pita pieces, fresh mint, sumac and zaatar. Olive oil + vinegar + salt + a bit of sugar = dressing. Voila!

Taste Description

This is crunchy, juicy goodness with very unique, indescribable flavor. I'm not huge fan of mint but here, it's magically yields into very natural combination of lemony sumac and very herby zaatar. Right balance of acidity and sugar in a dressing adds up to overall satisfaction from refreshing yet filling salad.

How to Serve

Serve right away. It can be prepared couple hours in advance; although pita chips in this case have to be added right before serving.
Fattoush Salad

For a generous 4 servings: 
  • 1 head of romain lettuce, chopped
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • about 30 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 3 pitas
  • 2-3 tbs sumac
  • 1-2 tbs zaatar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 tbs vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil

- Split each pita into two circles. Cut into 1.5" squares. Sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and throw in a toaster-oven. Toast, turning ones or twice, until you'll get pretty, golden, crunchy pita chips.

- With your hands,  mix nicely onion, pinch of salt and half of sumac. Onion will soften up.

- In a large bowl, mix all chopped, sliced and diced ingredients along with a dressing ingredients, sumac and zaatar. Hold on pita chips. Let salad stay for about 10 minute for a flavors to combine (if you are patient!). Now add pita chips, stir briefly. Serve with additional sprinkles of sumac and zaatar. Additionally, you may also serve sumac and zaatar on a side. Enjoy!


To split pita, cut into the edges with a paring knife - pita will split up easily.

...this is zaatar - knocking out herby flavor...
..sumac.. it has more taste than flavor...

you have to use your hands here... there is no better tool than this one...


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