Fattoush salad is a Middle Eastern dish that is popular in many countries, including Lebanon and Syria. It’s a flavorful mixture of vegetables, herbs, and spices. The key ingredients of this traditional salad include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, sumac, and pita chips.
The combination of these ingredients creates an incredible flavor experience that can be enjoyed as part of a main meal or as an appetizer. Depending on the region from which it originated, additional ingredients such as bell peppers, mint, or parsley might be added to the mix. Fattoush salads are usually finished off with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice for added zing. This popular dish also contains plenty of health benefits due to its high content of vitamins and minerals.
Basic Ingredients for Fattoush Salad
Lamb Lettuce: Lamb lettuce (or lamb’s lettuce) is an edible species of the Valerianaceae family, typically identified by its small, spoon-shaped leaves. This leafy green is a rich source of vitamins A and C, as well as other antioxidants, which contribute to its role as a dietary staple.
Pita bread: Pita is a type of flatbread originating in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. It is typically made from wheat flour, water, and yeast, resulting in an unleavened bread that is usually baked in a very hot oven. Furthermore, Pita has a distinctive pocket-like shape that makes it an excellent carrier for many types of fillings such as salads, falafel, and hummus.
Ground sumac: Ground sumac is a fine powder-like spice that is derived from the dried and crushed fruit of the Rhus coriaria plant. It is commonly found in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine and is known to contain an array of nutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and dietary fiber.
Pomegranate molasses: Pomegranate molasses is an interesting culinary ingredient derived from the juice of pomegranate fruit. It is produced through a slow boiling process, whereby the natural sugars and tannins within the juice caramelize, creating a thick syrup-like consistency.
Apple vinegar: Apple vinegar, scientifically known as malic acid, is a type of acidic liquid derived from the fermentation of apple cider. Its sour taste is attributed to its high content of acetic acid.
Olive oil: Olive oil is edible oil. It has been used in cuisine and traditional medicine for centuries, with evidence suggesting its use, dates back to ancient civilizations. Olive oil is composed primarily of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that has been linked to numerous health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Pink salt: Pink salt is a type of rock salt, known as Himalayan pink salt, that is composed of various minerals and trace elements. The salt derives its characteristic pink hue from the presence of iron oxide. It is extracted from the foothills of the Himalayas Mountains in Pakistan
- Replace the lettuce in traditional Fattoush with Kale for added nutrition.
- Try adding roasted bell pepper strips or zucchini slices for texture and flavor variations.
- Swap out the cucumbers for jicama or radishes for a spicier kick.
- Substitute pita chips for the traditional fried bread pieces for an extra crunchy topping.
SERVING TIPS for Fattoush Salad
- The key to making a great Fattoush salad is adding plenty of crunchy vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and peppers.
- To add an authentic Middle Eastern touch, sprinkle the salad with pomegranate seeds or sumac powder before serving.
- To make the dressing, mix together olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice until well combined and pour over the top of the salad before serving.
- For added texture and flavor, top your Fattoush salad with crunchy croutons or toasted nuts like almonds or walnuts.
- The crispness of the pita chips is key in making an excellent Fattoush Salad; therefore, always store the dressing separately from the rest of the ingredients. This will help keep the chips from becoming soggy or soft.
- If you plan on storing your Fattoush Salad for more than one day, do not mix all of your ingredients together until shortly before serving; instead wait until right before eating to combine everything together for optimal freshness and flavor.
- 1 small head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 bunch of lamb lettuce washed
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- Handful mint, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped into large cubes
- 4 small cucumbers, chopped
- 1 red capsicum, chopped
- Handfulradishes, cut into halves
- 2 large eggplant, cut into short thick strips
- Vegetable oil
- 2 small pita bread, cut into small squares
- 2 tsp ground sumac
- 1-2 whole lemons, freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp garlic, finely minced
- 2 tsp apple vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Pink Salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Eggplant: Preheat the Air Fryer to 180 degrees Celsius for about 5 minutes. Place cut eggplant strips into a medium size plate and drizzle about 1 – 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and season with salt; mix ingredients together with your fingers.
- Place the eggplant into the Air Fryer basket and leave to cook for about 12 minutes. Reserve the eggplants in a separate bowl on the side.
- Pita Chips: Cut pita into small squares, coat with that has already been cut into small squares on a medium size plate, and drizzle about 1 – 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil; mix ingredients together. Place the pita bread into the Air Fryer and leave to cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Reserve pita chips in a separate bowl on the side.
- Dressing:In a small mixing bowl mix sumac, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, apple vinegar, minced garlic, honey, and olive oil together. Season with pink salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Salad: In a large mixing bowl add all salad ingredients, including romaine lettuce, lamb lettuce, green onions, mint, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum radishes, and eggplant. Toss the salad with the dressing, season with salt and pepper, and top with pita chips for extra crunch.