One of my favorite salads is the Fattoush Salad to prepare and indulge in. Despite its simplicity, the pomegranate molasses dressing adds a delightful combination of sweetness and tangy flavor to the mix of fresh herbs and crunchy pita bread. Simply delicious!
This fattoush salad recipe is a classic dish served throughout the Middle East. This tangy, flavorful salad has just the right amount of crispiness from the lightly fried pita chips. My fattoush salad dressing is simple to make but full of flavor. The pomegranate molasses gives it the perfect sweet, tangy, and savory balance that makes a fantastic salad.
I made my version of this salad in my cafe and served it as a main entree salad. I added lightly charred grilled chicken to the dish for a well-balanced meal. Everyone who tried my fattoush salad loved it. It became the top-selling salad at my cafe.
What is Fattoush?
A fattoush salad is a Middle Eastern salad that typically includes some variation of lettuce, cucumbers, and, most importantly, fried bread. Practically everyone agrees that the salad originated from northern Lebanon. It said that farmers wanted to find a way to eat day-old bread, so they broke the pita bread into small pieces and added it to whatever vegetable they had. Thanks to those farmers, this salad is served in many Middle Eastern restaurants and made at many Middle Eastern homes. The small pieces of bread in the salad give the salad its name. In Arabic, the base word of ‘fattoush’ is ‘fatteh,’ which means crumbs.
Fattoush Salad Recipe Ingredients
- Romaine Lettuce: This is the base for most Fattoush salads. Romaine’s crispy leaves add volume, making the salad hearty while providing a subtle bitterness that contrasts beautifully with other ingredients.
- Parsley: This herb isn’t just for garnish! Finely chopped parsley infuses the salad with a vibrant freshness, making every bite more invigorating.
- Tomatoes: While many opt for larger varieties like Roma or vine tomatoes, don’t avoid cherry or grape tomatoes. Their juicy burst adds both flavor and texture to the Fattoush.
- Cucumbers: A staple in Middle Eastern salads. While any variety does the trick, Persian cucumbers, with their mild flavor and crunchy texture, are a favored choice for this dish.
- Green Onions: They’re milder than their red, white, or yellow counterparts, ensuring the dressing remains the star. Their subtle sweetness adds depth without overpowering the mix.
- Radishes: Not just for color! Radishes contribute a hint of spice and zest. Their crisp nature ensures every mouthful of Fattoush feels fresh and lively.
- Purslane: Although not everyone is familiar with purslane, it’s a traditional Fattoush ingredient. Its slightly lemony taste and succulent texture make it a delightful addition. If you can’t find a purslane, you can skip it, but it’s worth seeking out for an authentic touch.
- Toasted Pita: This is what sets Fattoush apart! The crunchy, toasted pieces of pita bread absorb the dressing, offering a satisfying contrast in texture while enhancing the salad’s overall flavor profile.
Pomegranate Molasses in Fattoush Dressing
Pomegranate molasses are what set Fattoush dressing apart. This sweet and tangy syrupy concoction is a flavor powerhouse in Middle Eastern cuisine. Derived from reduced pomegranate juice, it lends a unique depth to dishes. This isn’t actual molasses but a thickened pomegranate reduction for the uninitiated. Its vibrant flavor profile makes it a must-have for Fattoush. Finding it is easy — check Amazon or a local Middle Eastern market. Given its potent taste, a little goes a long way. Whether in salads or stews, pomegranate molasses turns any dish from ordinary to extraordinary.
Fattoush Salad Tips
- Optimal Pita Crunch: Day-old pita bread, slightly dry, is perfect for quick pan-frying. Drizzle with olive oil and pan-fry until golden and crispy.
- Sumac Flavor Boost: Traditionally, toss toasted bread with sumac before adding it to the salad for an extra flavor.
- Healthier Chip Option: Try a baked pita chips recipe for a healthier twist. Reserve a tablespoon of dressing, spread it on the chips, and bake until brown and crispy.
- Last-Minute Crunch: Toss pita chips into the salad just before serving to maintain their delightful crunch with every bite.
- Cucumber Choice: Opt for Persian cucumbers; they have fewer seeds and less water, enhancing the overall texture of the salad.
- Romaine hearts offer a perfect combination of crunchiness and tenderness compared to the outer leaves of romaine lettuce.
Pairings for Fattoush Salad
Fattoush is versatile and pairs well with many dishes. For a heartier meal, top it with grilled chicken breast. It’s also a fantastic accompaniment to dishes like kofta kebabs or Lebanese mujadara. For family gatherings, serve it alongside a whole chicken seasoned with za’atar. Whether as a main or a side, Fattoush always shines.
Tell Me How I’m Doing?
Have you made this delicious authentic Lebanese Fattoush Salad? Love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.