Fattoush Salad

As ubiquitous on a Lebanese mezze table as the eternal hummus, this salad signals the beginning of warm weather, days at the beach and tutti quanti.

Some essential features  of a good fattoush: crisp pita croutons, preferably fried; a copious amount of sumac in the lemon and olive oil dressing; and fresh garden vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, green peppers and last but not least, purslane or mâche as it is called in Francophone countries or  at fancy restaurants in the US.

Purslane or mâche may sound fancy, but it is a weed and you may easily find it on the side of the road or at the edge of a parking lot, as it grows where nothing has grown before. It is also supposed to be the most nutritional weed around, ironically! (you can also find it at Latino markets under the name verdolaga)

This fattoush is going to have crisp but toasted breadsticks; even the fried  croutons turn limp and who wants to eat soggy bread? Not me! So grab a crunchy sumac-flavored breadstick and chomp along!

If you can’t find purslane, don’t sweat it! This salad is great with good-old romaine, some chopped up parsley and mint, lots of cucumbers and tomatoes and whatever else you feel like throwing in there!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (or any other lettuce), torn in pieces
  • a bunch of purslane or mâche
  • a few Persian cucumbers (or English-hothouse, or just plain cucumbers)
  • a few tomatoes, diced
  • a few radishes, sliced
  • green onions, sliced
  • a handful of chopped Italian parsley and a handful of fresh mint
  • a green pepper, diced (optional)
  • a large loaf of pita bread  or 2 small pita breads

For the Fattoush dressing:

  1. 2 small lemons, juiced
  2. 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 2  generous tablespoons  of sumac, plus extra to sprinkle on the pita breadsticks
  4. 2 or more cloves of garlic mashed in a dash of salt in a mortar

METHOD:

  1. Brush the pita breads with plenty of olive oil; sprinkle plenty of sumac on top.
  2. With kitchen scissors, cut the bread into thin breadsticks. Toast in a 325F oven till crispy and golden. Set aside.
  3. Prepare all the salad ingredients; mix the dressing; when ready to serve, toss the salad with the dressing and serve the breadsticks on the side, or break them up the traditional way, and incorporate in the fattoush.


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43 Comments

  1. Posted April 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Can I move next to your house, please! Your food is amazing…..What a delicious salad and I love the presentation as well!!!!

  2. Posted April 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh no no….don’t lock the salad in the pita bread cage…I will save you…salad! *breaking those pita barriers* ;p

  3. Posted April 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    That’s one of the most prettiest salads I’ve ever seen :-)

  4. Kathe
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Love your site. Just for info purposes – after a recent trip to Mexico, I made the connection between verdolagas and the East Indian “methi” which is fenugreek in English and available at Indian markets year-round and much cheaper than mache at gourmet markets.

  5. Posted April 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous salad. I love the bright green and red.

  6. Posted April 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    WOW! This such a beautiful salad. I I want to eat more than 1 serving.

  7. Posted April 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Fatoush has been my favourite salad for years. My Lebanese friend in Calgary taught us all how to make it and it was wonderful. I love your presentation with pita breadsticks. I didn’t realize that it is traditionally made with mache.

  8. SYLVIA
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    very refreshing light, and healthy salad,
    elegant to look at, and definite party in your mouth.
    A 10

  9. Posted April 9, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never used sumac, but I’m going out looking for it, thanks to you!

  10. Posted April 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I only recently discovered purslane and I have to say I love it. Tastes rather like a mild water cress

  11. Posted April 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Please come and collect an Award from my blog. The salad sounds delicious and love your presentation with the pita. Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Posted April 10, 2010 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Ooh I absolutely love this salad and I’m so nodding in agreement about the fabulousness of the crunch, sumac and the super fresh salad! :D

  13. Posted April 10, 2010 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Beautiful salad. Love your creative presentation!

  14. Posted April 10, 2010 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    My favorite salad!! reminds me of those great summer days in Lebanon!!

  15. Posted April 10, 2010 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    A delicious summer salad!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  16. Posted April 10, 2010 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Am inviting myself to ur place to enjoy this fab salad..beautiful and colourful salad..

  17. Posted April 10, 2010 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I love how simple and fresh this is. Only bright flavors that go so nicely with the spring weather.

  18. Posted April 10, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Oh mâche, how I miss you. We fell for each other in Montreal, and it was a heady romance, but then I moved back to Australia and we lost touch…. it’s tragic, tragic I tell you.

    Beautiful salad.

  19. Posted April 10, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I love how you made the bread! looks soooo cool! And thanks for the reminder of the name of Purslane, I have been driving myself nuts trying to remember it for the last couple of days.
    Believe it or not, Fattoush is way better to me than Tabbouleh. I had some of it yesterday and the thing is always refreshing and has a summer feel as you say :D

  20. Posted April 10, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Love this Fattoush, it looks yummy and authentic. Send a bowl over, will you?

  21. Posted April 10, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Wonderful presentation ! Fattoush salad is very fresh, healthy and flavorful. Love it!

  22. Posted April 10, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Oh my God…
    I just posted about Fattoush pls Lebanese BBQ Chicken and Garlic Sauce.

    Wonderful… Gorgeous photos my friend.

  23. Posted April 10, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Purslane is grows rampantly in Greece and I love it in salads. You’ve got a grand presentation here and may I suggest setting up one more place setting as I’m on my way. ;)

  24. Posted April 10, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    It’s the perfect weather around here for a salad like this. So glad you added all the ideas for substitutions. Good, ethnic ingredients are really difficult to come by where i live. It looks delicious!

  25. Posted April 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    salut joumana avec toi j’améliore mon vocab ! je peux traduire mache maintenant !! ta salade me fait envie!! il a fait super beau auj à Paris Pierre

  26. Posted April 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    It tasted great.

    It seems your readers agree with me: putting the salad in a pita cage totally sucks. My picture is infinitely superior.

  27. Posted April 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Une salade tout ce qu’il y a de plus délicieux.
    Je la trouve très bonnes.
    A bientôt.

  28. Posted April 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    That is a lovely presentation, Joumana! And such a fresh, colorful salad! Just right for summer lunches. You’ve used sumac again. Guess I may have to find some. I’ll try Amazon first, they usually have everything! (And yes, I just looked and they have it!)

  29. Posted April 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Such a nice salad and I welcome any recipe that announces the arrival of warm weather. Love the pita presentation.

  30. Posted April 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Oh the salad looks so refreshing and delicious!

  31. Posted April 11, 2010 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    oh I love this and could eat it right now if I had it here! Beautiful presentation, once again! :)

  32. Posted April 11, 2010 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    That looks so beautiful and refreshing and light. This would be perfect for the hot weather here.

    I remember this. Our next door neighbours were a Lebanese-Jordanian couple when we lived in Kuwait. They were being neighborly and gave my parents a plate of this. Of course, back then, being a child, I didn’t appreciate it because I didn’t like veggies.

    Unfortunately, Middle Eastern dishes can be challenging to recreate over here. Finding a decent pita bread is hard enough. :(

  33. Posted April 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been looking for a recipe to use Sumac! I bought a bag of Sumac last month and was not quite sure how to use it but I could not resist the gorgeous color!

  34. Posted April 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I love fattoush salad. Last week, I had lots of mixed greens and vegetables and bought some homeade pita from a woman at the market. So, I was making my version of this for several lunches. I’m going to have to get my hands on some sumac to try this dressing. Gorgeous!

  35. Posted April 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Your fattoush looks delicious and I love your idea of using sumac breadsticks. Thanks for the info on purslane, I had no idea it was a a common weed, lol!

  36. Posted April 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    you know for how long I have been looking for a good fattoush salad recipe! I was so happy when I saw your post. I have some sumac sitting with me right now and I can’t wait to make this one. I just love the salads with some sort of bread in it and the seasonings of fattoush salad makes this one extra special for me.

  37. Posted April 12, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Thanks,
    I had to use some dandelion, but it came off very well. You really need to publish a cookbook; your recipes are fantastic, clear and easy to follow-and great pics.

  38. Posted April 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    This looks so delicious. Now I need to add sumac to my list for the middle eastern market. Maybe you could do a post of pantry staples for a Lebanese kitchen.
    Mimi

  39. Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    As I get an extra moment in my day, I’ve been enjoying your blog. So many wonderful recipes!
    This salad looks amazing. I just bough the mahlep at the middles eastern store near my house. Guess I’m going back for sumac! I’ve gotta make this!
    Pam

  40. Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I love, love, looooove Fattoush Salad! It’s a must when I go to Lebanese restaurants! Love your presentation too!

  41. Posted April 18, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I like many out there, i love fattousch! and your picture makes me love it and want to make even more Joumana!

  42. Posted May 21, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I love how you prepared the bread sticks! So different and eye appealing! Best salad ever!

  43. Posted March 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, I check your blogs on a regular basis.
    Your writing style is witty, keep up the good work!

22 Trackbacks

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  8. By Fattoush! « babble&baklava on July 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    [...] recipe is adapted from one taken from one of my favorite Lebanese food blogs – Taste of Beirut.  [...]

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    [...] the Lebanese kitchen it is used for fattoush salad; for a yogurt and purslane salad (so refreshing in the heat); and as a stuffing in fatayers [...]

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    [...] might also like versions from: Kalyn’s Kitchen Taste of Beirut Mama’s Lebanese Kitchenn 101 [...]

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    […] might also like versions from: Kalyn’s Kitchen Taste of Beirut Mama’s Lebanese Kitchenn 101 […]

  17. […] Lebanon, it is available year-round and is tremendously popular and  always included in a fattoush […]

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