Lebanese Cuisine,  Soups & Salads

Fattoush- Mediterranean Chopped Salad

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homemade fattoush salad

This glorious Lebanese fattoush salad is a staple of Lebanese salads and it plays a central part in Middle Eastern cuisine! Complete with pan fried pita chips, this Mediterranean chopped salad is topped with homemade Mediterranean salad dressing of olive oil, lemon, mint and other traditional Lebanese spices.

Traditional Lebanese and Middle Eastern food is full of fresh ingredients and fresh vegetables. This classic Mediterranean chopped salad is no different! Growing up in a Lebanese home, for holidays we would always have a spread of Lebanese food. Besides fattoush salad, another popular recipe at most of those meals was Tabbouleh, which is a parsley salad made with cracked wheat or bulgar and a Lebanese salad dressing.

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I love Mediterranean food because it prides itself in being fresh! And along with fresh ingredients, whole grains and heart healthy oils comes healthy eating! Lebanese food is healthy and the Mediterranean Diet has been labeled as one of the healthiest!

Arabic Salad with homemade fried pita chips also know as fatoosh

What is Fattoush? A classic Arabic salad

Fattoush (also spelled Fatoosh), along with Tabbouleh is a classic Arabic salad. The difference between the two Lebanese salads is the grain that is used. Instead of using cracked wheat like tabbouleh does, I make fattoush using thin pita bread and lightly pan fry it in olive oil to be a type of crouton.

Fattoush is basically the Middle Eastern salad version of a panzanella salad. This has become one of my favorite Mediterranean salads because it is so crisp and full of flavor. Also, making pita chips at home really makes this dish stand out!

Mediterranean chopped salad with pita chips and homemade Mediterranean salad dressing

What are the ingredients for this Lebanese Fattoush salad recipe?

The ingredients for Lebanese Fattoush are:

  • Parsley
  • Head Iceberg Lettuce (or head romaine lettuce)
  • Green Onions (aka scallions)
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Homemade Fried Pita Chips
  • Lemon Juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ground Sumac
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Dried Mint leaf, or fresh mint

How to Make Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Wash all of your fresh ingredients before chopping. One thing that is very important is how to wash and prepare the parsley! You MUST soak your parsley in a large bowl of water for several minutes in order to get the dirt and sand off.

cleaning parsley, for fattoush recipe

YES, SAND! Parsley is usually grown in sandy soil and there still may be bits of sand stuck to it. If you do not clean it properly you may have a gritty salad, and you don’t want that happening!

Do yourself a favor and get a salad spinner! It will make life much easier! After washing the ingredients, place them in the salad spinner and give it a good fast spin. This will remove all of the excess water from the salad ingredients. I highly recommend using this Cuisinart Salad Spinner. Check it out!

Cuisinart Salad Spinner

Chop the parsley, green onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce into bite sized pieces and put them into a large salad bowl. I tend to chop my parsley finer than the rest of the ingredients.

This colorful salad deserves a beautiful serving bowl. Check out these amazing wooden salad bowls from Etsy! Perfect for serving and entertaining!

Mahogany Salad Bowl
Mahogany Salad Bowl
Large Arabia of Finland wooden salad bowl
Large Birch Salad Bowl

Making Fried Pita Chips

First we need to talk pita bread. Normal, traditional Lebanese pita bread is thinner than pita bread that you find at your chain grocery store. I recommend a THIN pita bread for this recipe. The bread that I buy is a very thin pita bread loaf that is about 14 inches in diameter.

Some people use oven toasted pita rather than frying it, however this can leave the pita to be chewy. I find it best to lightly fry it.

Cut the bread into small bite sized triangles, it’s ok if it falls apart and if the layer separate. You will want about 2 cups of pita pieces.

Heat 3 Tbls of light olive oil in a non-stick pan. Lightly fry the pita chips, about 7-8 pieces at a time in the oil, for 30 seconds on each side or until it browns and gets a golden color.

Remove the pita chips onto a paper towel to drain and lightly salt the fresh fried pita chips.

Can I use store bought pita chips for this chopped Mediterranean salad?

I am going to say flat out “NO!!!!!“! Store bought pita chips are thick and WAY TOO HARD AND CRUNCHY! Homemade pita chips is the way to go in this salad. I am begging you on my knees to please make your own!

For the Mediterranean Dressing

Making fattoush dressing is rather easy! Squeeze the lemon into a small dish, making sure to strain out the seeds. Add all of the spices to the lemon juice. Pour the spices and lemon juice over the salad, giving it a few tosses.

Always add the lemon juice BEFORE the olive oil!

What is sumac?

Sumac spice is a Middle Eastern spice that is slightly tart in flavor. It is perfect to use in Arabic salad dressing

Let me talk about sumac for a moment. Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that has a tart flavor. It is optional in this salad, however sumac is a common ingredient especially in Middle Eastern salad dressing.

After the lemon juice is tossed into the salad, add the olive oil and toss again. ALWAYS toss the salad in the lemon juice BEFORE adding the olive oil, otherwise the spices and flavor will not incorporate into the salad.

I like to add the pita chips to the top of the salad and serve it that way so they don’t get soggy. Although you can give it a toss with the pita chips if you want. Just make sure to serve it right away!! Enjoy this tasty and BEAUTIFUL Mediterranean salad!


Shop Kitchen items and ingredients from this recipe

Salad Spinner
Salad Spinner
Salad Bowl
Wooden Salad Bowl
Salad bowl
Wooden Salad Bowl
Sumac
Sumac
Lebanese Olive Oil
Olive oil from Lebanon

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homemade fattoush salad

Lebanese Fattoush Salad Recipe- Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Emily Ackerman
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Fattoush Salad

  • 2 bunches Parsley
  • 8 Scallions
  • 1 head Lettuce Iceberg or Romaine
  • 3-4 small tomatoes or 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups pita bread cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup light olive oil for frying

For the Fattoush Dressing

  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp dried mint leaf or 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves cut up
  • 1 teas garlic powder
  • 1 teas salt
  • ½ teas ground sumac optional
  • ½ teas black pepper
  • cup olive oil extra virgin

Instructions
 

  • Wash, prepare and chop the parsley, green onions, lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes and add them to a large salad bowl
  • Cut the pita bread (see post about pita bread, it must be thin) into bite sized pieces. Heat a pan with several tablespoons of olive oil and fry the pita pieces about 6-7 at a time for 30 seconds on each side until golden brown.
  • Remove the fried pita chips and let drain on a paper towel. Lightly salt them while they are warm

For the Mediterranean salad dressing

  • Juice the lemon, straining out any seeds, into a small bowl
  • Add the salt, pepper, mint, garlic powder, and sumac to the lemon juice, whisking it together
  • Pour the lemon juice mixture over the salad and toss together
  • After the lemon juice is incorporated, add the olive oil and toss.
  • Top with pita chips and serve immediately
This Mediterranean salad recipe is delicious and fresh and made with homemade fried pita chips. It is the perfect chopped salad recipe and healthy as well. Full of fresh ingredients it is a staple of Middle Eastern recipes that leaves you feeling good. Mediterranean recipes are delightful and flavorful. If you are looking for Mediterranean Diet recipes, put this on the list. This is a classic and authentic Lebanese Salad recipe
This Mediterranean salad recipe is delicious and fresh and made with homemade fried pita chips. It is the perfect chopped salad recipe and healthy as well. Full of fresh ingredients it is a staple of Middle Eastern recipes that leaves you feeling good. Mediterranean recipes are delightful and flavorful. If you are looking for Mediterranean Diet recipes, put this on the list. This is a classic and authentic Lebanese Salad recipe
This Mediterranean salad recipe is delicious and fresh and made with homemade fried pita chips. It is the perfect chopped salad recipe and healthy as well. Full of fresh ingredients it is a staple of Middle Eastern recipes that leaves you feeling good. Mediterranean recipes are delightful and flavorful. If you are looking for Mediterranean Diet recipes, put this on the list. This is a classic and authentic Lebanese Salad recipe
This Mediterranean salad recipe is delicious and fresh and made with homemade fried pita chips. It is the perfect chopped salad recipe and healthy as well. Full of fresh ingredients it is a staple of Middle Eastern recipes that leaves you feeling good. Mediterranean recipes are delightful and flavorful. If you are looking for Mediterranean Diet recipes, put this on the list. This is a classic and authentic Lebanese Salad recipe

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