April 9, 2010 • Category: Salads
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 mâchemay 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!
- 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:
- 2 small lemons, juiced
- 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 generous tablespoons of sumac, plus extra to sprinkle on the pita breadsticks
- 2 or more cloves of garlic mashed in a dash of salt in a mortar
- Brush the pita breads with plenty of olive oil; sprinkle plenty of sumac on top.
- With kitchen scissors, cut the bread into thin breadsticks. Toast in a 325F oven till crispy and golden. Set aside.
- 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.
65 Comments • Comments Feed
Wow! Can I move next to your house, please! Your food is amazing…..What a delicious salad and I love the presentation as well!!!!
On April 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm
Oh no no….don’t lock the salad in the pita bread cage…I will save you…salad! *breaking those pita barriers* ;p
On April 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm
That’s one of the most prettiest salads I’ve ever seen 🙂
On April 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm
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.
On April 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm
Dinners & Dreams says:
Gorgeous salad. I love the bright green and red.
On April 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm
WOW! This such a beautiful salad. I I want to eat more than 1 serving.
On April 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm
Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:
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.
On April 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm
very refreshing light, and healthy salad,
elegant to look at, and definite party in your mouth.
On April 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm
I’ve never used sumac, but I’m going out looking for it, thanks to you!
On April 9, 2010 at 10:44 pm
I only recently discovered purslane and I have to say I love it. Tastes rather like a mild water cress
On April 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm
Please come and collect an Award from my blog. The salad sounds delicious and love your presentation with the pita. Have a wonderful weekend.
On April 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm
Not Quite Nigella says:
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! 😀
On April 10, 2010 at 12:13 am
Beautiful salad. Love your creative presentation!
On April 10, 2010 at 12:16 am
My favorite salad!! reminds me of those great summer days in Lebanon!!
On April 10, 2010 at 12:38 am
A delicious summer salad!
On April 10, 2010 at 2:16 am
Am inviting myself to ur place to enjoy this fab salad..beautiful and colourful salad..
On April 10, 2010 at 4:13 am
I love how simple and fresh this is. Only bright flavors that go so nicely with the spring weather.
On April 10, 2010 at 7:47 am
Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:
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.
On April 10, 2010 at 8:40 am
Viviane, Taste-Buds says:
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 😀
On April 10, 2010 at 10:03 am
Kitchen Butterfly says:
Love this Fattoush, it looks yummy and authentic. Send a bowl over, will you?
On April 10, 2010 at 10:09 am
Wonderful presentation ! Fattoush salad is very fresh, healthy and flavorful. Love it!
On April 10, 2010 at 10:41 am
Oh my God…
I just posted about Fattoush pls Lebanese BBQ Chicken and Garlic Sauce.
Wonderful… Gorgeous photos my friend.
On April 10, 2010 at 10:45 am
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. 😉
On April 10, 2010 at 10:47 am
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!
On April 10, 2010 at 11:47 am
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
On April 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm
It tasted great.
It seems your readers agree with me: putting the salad in a pita cage totally sucks. My picture is infinitely superior.
On April 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm
Une salade tout ce qu’il y a de plus délicieux.
Je la trouve très bonnes.
On April 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm
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!)
On April 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm
Such a nice salad and I welcome any recipe that announces the arrival of warm weather. Love the pita presentation.
On April 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm
Oh the salad looks so refreshing and delicious!
On April 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm
Simply Life says:
oh I love this and could eat it right now if I had it here! Beautiful presentation, once again! 🙂
On April 11, 2010 at 5:31 am
The KitchenMasochist says:
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. 🙁
On April 11, 2010 at 6:08 am
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!
On April 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm
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!
On April 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm
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!
On April 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm
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.
On April 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm
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.
On April 12, 2010 at 8:11 am
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.
On April 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm
The Gypsy Chef says:
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!
On April 13, 2010 at 10:04 am
My Persian Kitchen says:
I love, love, looooove Fattoush Salad! It’s a must when I go to Lebanese restaurants! Love your presentation too!
On April 13, 2010 at 11:01 pm
I like many out there, i love fattousch! and your picture makes me love it and want to make even more Joumana!
On April 18, 2010 at 8:19 am
I love how you prepared the bread sticks! So different and eye appealing! Best salad ever!
On May 21, 2013 at 7:29 am
fine wine lakeland says:
Hi there, I check your blogs on a regular basis.
Your writing style is witty, keep up the good work!
On March 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm
Mary Galbraith says:
Is there a secret or is it possible to make lots of pita sumac strips and put some in the salad then freeze/ store the rest of pita strips for later?
BTW, I’ve been search for a n authentic fattoush recipe for a while now, thank you! oxoxoxoxo
On June 23, 2018 at 1:53 am
Joumana Accad says:
@Mary Galbraith Sure! Except freeze them without all the spices. Defrost them at room temperature and proceed, with spices and frying or baking.
On June 26, 2018 at 3:47 pm
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett says:
Mache is lamb’s lettuce, not purslane. It is very delicate and must be eaten right away. Purslane in French is pourpier.
On July 3, 2022 at 1:42 am
Joumana Accad says:
@Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Merci pour les éclaircissements. Je ne m’étais jamais penchée sur ces distinctions, et j’avais toujours entendu les gens nommer cette herbe mâche.
On July 3, 2022 at 8:51 pm