My grandparents had a cozy pre-war ranch house with a modest dining room, where we’d gather almost every weekend when I was a kid. A couple years after my grandfather passed away, my grandmother sold the house along with the dining room furniture. And as time goes on, the table grows bigger in my memory. When I think of it now, it fills the whole room, with just enough space for chairs to surround it. Every weekend, the big dining room table was laden with the food my grandmother cooked. And there was almost always a big bowl of fattoush in the center.
When we said there was going to be salad, we almost always meant this salad.
My mom taught me how to make fattoush long ago, and I posted about it back when I started blogging. But I was new to recipe writing, and hadn’t yet learned how to write streamlined instructions. I think there were like 4 paragraphs of footnotes, so I decided to give it a little makeover.
Hope you enjoy this one!
Things I love about this fattoush recipe:
- The dressing is mixed up on the side, which means that you have more flexibility in how you serve it. You can meal prep the whole thing on Sunday, and store the ingredients separately from the dressing. You can dress half of the salad to serve for dinner and then store the leftovers undressed. That way they’ll stay crisp for the next day. Or you can mix up the whole thing for a big dinner.
- I’ve included both US and metric measurements, so whether you want to eyeball it, use cups/tablespoons/teaspoons, or use a digital scale, this recipe has you covered.
- The pita gets baked, which is so much easier than frying or pan-toasting.
A quick note on ingredients:
Sumac is the only ingredient in this recipe that you might need to seek out. It’s available at Middle Eastern markets, and super easy to find online. While it might be tempting to seek out another recipe that suggests a substitution, I’m going to be real with you:
You absolutely need sumac to make decent fattoush.
You might find a recipe out there that says you can get away with substituting lemon zest or some other unrelated ingredient. But there’s really nothing out there that tastes remotely similar to sumac. The heart and soul of fattoush is in the pita chips and sumac. So while this salad might still be super delicious without the sumac, it would cease to be fattoush.Print
my favorite fattoush
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 10 side servings
- 2 medium pitas, cut into bite-sized triangles (140 grams)
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil (14 grams)
- 3 tablespoons sumac (25 grams)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (61 grams, from about 2 lemons)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (55 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium head of romaine, chopped (375 grams)
- 5 roma tomatoes, chopped (325 grams)
- 4 Persian cucumbers, chopped (325 grams)
- 1 large or 2 very small green bell peppers, chopped (170 grams after seeding)
- 1 1/4 loosely-packed cups coarsely chopped mint leaves (15 grams)
- 2 loosely-packed cups coarsely chopped parsley leaves (20 grams)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped green onions (35 grams)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F convection.*
- Coat the pita triangles evenly in 1 tablespoon of neutral oil. Spread evenly on a sheet pan, salt to taste, and bake until golden brown (about 10 to 14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pita).
- Combine the sumac, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk, and set aside.
- Spread out the chopped romaine in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Top with the tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, mint, parsley, and green onions. When you’re ready to serve, whisk the dressing, top the salad with the dressing and pita chips, and toss everything together.
* If you don’t have convection, no worries—it just might take a little longer for them to toast, and you might need to rotate the pan once halfway through to make sure they’re browning evenly.
To store for less than a day: Make sure your herbs and veggies are well-dried before chopping with a sharp knife. Refrigerate the veggies and herbs in one sealed container, and the dressing in another. Store the toasted pita chips in a sealed container at room temperature once they’ve cooled down.
To store for a few days/for meal prep: Store as described above, but also refrigerate the herbs and green onions in another separate container, lined with a slightly damp paper towel (and seriously make sure you dry them well before chopping).