Fattoush (Peasant Salad)

May 21, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Fattoush is a popular salad eaten in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. It’s simple, fresh and fast to make. It comprises green vegetables along with tomatoes and mixed bread pieces. The vegetables are chopped and it tastes fresh because of the mint which is enclosed within it.

The word fattoush comes from “fatta,” which is flat bread used in Levant dishes; and mostly used and served as a base for salads in most Arab countries.

This dish uses pita bread instead of whole wheat bread for its fiber content. Pita bread can be broiled in the oven or just toasted in the toaster. The dressing is tangy and lemony.

The salad includes fresh garlic, which has many nutrients including phytochemicals that protect our bodies from harm, such as allicin, a bacteria killer and saponin, a cancer fighter, just to list a few of its healthy ingredients.

Mint is also a good ingredient because of its antioxidant properties. Parsley and lemon are good sources of vitamin C. Most of the ingredients in this salad are mentioned in the book “101 Foods that Could Save Your Life.”

Some recipes of this salad call for fried pita bread. This version uses broiled pita instead, for a lighter dish. And for better nutrition, I use whole wheat pita.

Sumac is an ingredient usually used with this salad. It’s quite difficult to find unless you go to a Middle Eastern market. So I omitted that ingredient because most people may not have access to specialty markets.

Dressing:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Juice of two lemons (about 6 tbsp)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil

Salad:

  • 2 pieces of whole wheat pita bread
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach, washed
  • ½ head Romaine lettuce, finely chopped

Directions:

To make the dressing, crush garlic cloves with a strong knife. In a small bowl, combine garlic with lemon and olive oil mixing well. Set aside.

Turn broiler on to medium heat. Place pits on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler. Toast each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned. You can also toast pitas in the regular toaster as an alternative. Break pitas into bite-size pieces and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of water.

In a large bowl, toss remaining ingredients with pita. Sprinkle with dressing, toss again, and serve immediately.

Serves: 4 to 6

Note: For a twist on Fattoush, add 1 tbsp crumbled feta cheese to the salad before tossing.

If you want or need more vegetarian recipes or instructions on different dishes, you can find them here, or at my blog Spanish Steps.

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