This salad is actually called “fattoush”. It originates in the Middle East – Lebanon. It is made with toasted pita bread, lots of fresh herbs, the tastiest tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, green peppers and onion. It has a tart, vibrant dressing made with fresh lemon juice, garlic and a touch of ground cumin. The salad is nothing short of delicious. Trust me.
Because this is such a healthful, simple salad, make sure you use the freshest of ingredients. The integral part of the salad is the combination and the amount of herbs in it. So don’t skimp. Use them with unbridled abandon. If you have them growing – even better.
Mint reaching up to the already hot Florida sun.
And flat leaf or Italian parsley as it’s also called. Don’t even be tempted to use the curly stuff. Leave that for decorating butcher shop windows and circa 70’s salad plates with the slice of orange.
This is delightful eaten on it’s own but most times when I cook it I serve it with grilled pork kebabs, really crisp roasted potatoes and tzatziki (cucumber, Greek yogurt, salt, mint). It’s one of our “rotation meals” as my husband likes to say. Meaning it has become a favorite of our dinner repertoire. Hopefully once you’ve made the fattoush & tried it for yourself, it will become a favorite of yours.
- 2 pita breads
- 10 smallish ripe tomatoes, chopped*
- 1 English cucumber, chopped**
- 1 large green pepper (capsicum), chopped
- 8 green onions, sliced1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Place the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 400°F (200°C) oven for about 10 minutes or until the bread is golden and crisp; let cool. Break into medium-sized pieces.
- Combine tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, green onions in a large bowl.
- To make the dressing: combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar; shake well. Drizzle over the salad & toss to combine.
- Add the bread and toss to combine; serve immediately
- *I used hot-house Campari tomatoes for most of my recipes if fragrant, home-grown ones aren’t available. Don’t be tempted to use the insipid, tasteless tomatoes so often see in grocery stores and in average restaurants.
- **You can also use 3 smaller cucumbers, such as Lebanese cucumbers.