Consistently appearing in Middle Eastern households and Mediterranean restaurants, fattoush has gone from a way to not waste food, to a beloved salad that evolved into many different variations.
You may not remember it, but there is a good chance you went to a friends house or to a restaurant, ordered an appetizer or a side, and enjoyed some delicious produce coupled with crunchy pita and a juicy vinaigrette. You just didn’t know it was called fattoush.
What is Fattoush and why has it become so popular?
Fattoush is a Middle Eastern style salad made with dried khubz (commonly known as pita bread in North America). The actual recipe varies, but it’s often paired with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and other ingredients, and frequently topped with an olive oil based dressing with lemon, garlic, and the signature spice - sumac.
Fattoush belongs to the family of dishes known as fattah, which uses stale or toasted pita bread as a base.
History of fattoush
The reason there is a large variety of ways to make fattoush is because it has been said to have originated from Northern Lebanon back when farmers had dried or leftover pita bread. They would throw it into a salad with other produce and then season it with olive oil for extra flavouring.
The reason this salad has become so popular is due to how healthy it is and how easy it can be to make.
How to make fattoush
You will find many ways fattoush is made. Some recipes include toasted pita bread while others include stale pita. Some use sumac and others include green onion and radish. You can look some up online, but here is our ingredient list for creating a simple and classic fattoush salad:
- 1/2 a head (about 6 cups) of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups of diced bell peppers (orange, red, and yellow)
- 1 green onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup of Cedar Valley Selections Fattoush Dressing
- 1 cup crushed Cedar Valley Selections Pita Chips
The full recipe can be found here.
You can follow it to a T, or experiment with some variations. We believe, however that the difference between a good fattoush salad and a great fattoush salad will depend on:
- Freshness of the produce.
- Crispy pita chips.
- The dressing.
It’s all in the dressing
Along with other things, the sauce can make or break a fattoush salad. We believe that a good fattoush sauce should burst with flavour that makes your taste buds go wild. It should pop with the citrus of the lemon and sumac then come together with the flavour of the olive oil, garlic, and spices as you swallow, leaving your pallet with a vibrant, yet fresh, taste.
A few years back, we noticed that there is a disturbing lack of bottled fattoush sauce that was delicious, healthy, and with the ingredients we wanted. That’s why we decided to make one . You can read more about our story Here
Regardless of how you decide to dress your fattoush, we advise to at least use olive oil, lemon vinaigrette, and to keep it light and simple.
Get Creative with it
At its core, fattoush is a way to creatively use ingredients you have in your home to make a healthy and delicious dish and not let anything go to waste. Experiment. Try new spices , herbs, or cut produce in larger portions. The best thing about fattoush is that you can tailor it to how you like and make sure you get in your greens for the day in a tasty way.