Lettuce, vegetables and toasted bread salad
This recipe isn’t from any person in particular; I had fattoush in many people’s homes as a side dish and in different restaurants across Palestine. Everyone has a different twist to it, in particular when it comes to how to toast the bread. Bread is one of the distinctive ingredients of this salad and its name, fattoush, refers to the bread that’s mixed into it. Fatta or fattet is used as a name for Palestinian and Levant dishes which have toasted pieces of khubiz arabi (Arabic pitta bread) as their base, like fattet hummus which combines fried bread with hummus and tahini.
In fattoush salad, the bread is either fried or baked in the oven, then combined with herbs, green leaves and other fresh vegetables, and topped with a lemony dressing and the Middle Eastern spice sumac. It’s fresh, crunchy and full of flavours. The bread is an absolute must. I prefer it when it’s fried in oil rather than baked. I first fell in love with fattoush when I ate it at Bonjour Arabesque in Bethlehem, where the khobiz is deep fried. But the healthier alternative with oven baked pitta is wonderful too.
||lettuce, vegetables and toasted bread salad
||4 people as a side - 2 people as main dish
- 2 large pitta breads (khubiz arabi)
- 1/2 head of romaine lettuce
- 1 head of baby gem lettuce
- 1 large tomato (or about 170 gr of cherry tomatoes)
- ½ large cucumber
- ½ red pepper
- 100gr of radishes (about 10 radishes)
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons of chopped mint
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 8 teaspoons of lemon juice (about half a lemon depending on its size)
- 1 teaspoon of vinegar (cider or wine vinegar)
- 2 good pinches of salt
- 1 heaped teaspoon of sumac
- Chop up the pitta bread in small pieces, 1cm by 1cm. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the bread on medium to high heat for about 2 minutes until golden. Make it one batch at a time so as not to crowd them, adding oil each to make sure all the pieces are covered in olive oil. Drain on paper towel and repeat with the rest of the bread. Healthier alternative is to bake the chopped bread in the oven on a baking tray on 200 c degrees until golden (about 10 minutes).
- Wash all the vegetables and herbs, and pat dry.
- Cut the lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red pepper in small even-sized piece and put in a large bowl. Thinly slice the radishes. Roughly chop the mint and parsley and add it all to the rest of the vegetables.
- Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt in bowl and pour over the salad. Mix well.
- Add the bread at the end and mix again.
- Sprinkle 1 heaped teaspoon of sumac over the salad and done!