I finally figured out what a "real" fattoush salad is --
and the pita chips are definitely required!
See my new post and recipe at
Fattoush (Traditional Middle Eastern Salad).
2006 ORIGINAL Even if you don't call it 'fattoush', the ingredients are so familiar I'm willing to bet a similar salad has emerged from most kitchens. Still, it took three tries to get it right for my palate.
The basics are chopped cucumber and tomato with generous portions of parsley and mint in a lemon juice and olive oil dressing ... with toasted pita chunks stirred in at the last minute (like panzanella has bread chunks).
Fattoush #1 The veggies / parsley / mint were great but the dressing was so lackluster that leftovers were doused in bottled dressing. The pita chunks got mushy instantly.
Fattoush #2 With a little research, I learned that sumac, the ruddy-red Middle Eastern spice I've had my eye on for awhile,K is often used in the dressing and chopped romaine is added to the salad. The sumac worked! The romaine didn't (the salad turned more lettuce-y than seemed right).
I skipped the pita chunks but served good bread and sweet butter alongside: gorgeous.
Fattoush #3: A repeat of the sumac dressing, all vegetables, cilantro instead of parsley, good bread to dunk into the dressing remnants. Very good!! The sumac makes it just a bit different without being 'weird'. So this suits my palate ... but yours may be different so ... experiment away until you get it right for YOU.
FOR THE RECORD ... This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn's Kitchen. It might be sumac's first-ever appearance there!
Bookmark or print Fattoush
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Note: quantities given are enough for 4 generous side salads
Chopped English cucumber (1/3 of a cucumber)
Quartered grape tomatoes (4 ounces)
Chopped radishes (3 radishes)
Chopped yellow pepper (1/2 yellow pepper)
Chopped green onion (2 green onions)
Parsley (I preferred cilantro, about 1/4 cup)
Mint (1/4 cup)
DRESSING (enough for quantities above)
Juice of a lemon or lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
PITA CHUNKS (traditional but not to my taste)
Toast torn pieces of pita in the oven and stir in at the last minute.
(With 4 servings) Per Serving: 60 Cal (50% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 7 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NetCarb5; 43 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 18 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point