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This tart and refreshing Lebanese salad is very versatile: You can make it with lettuce or purslane, and with or without bread. The fresh herbs are important not only to add flavor but also to hold the ground sumac that gives the dish its distinctive taste.

Updated on December 30, 2015

Photo: © Zubin Schroff

What is fattoush?

Fattoush is a Levantine salad traditionally made with mixed greens, vegetables, and pita. Chef Anissa Helou, who was raised by a Lebanese mother and Syrian father in Beirut, uses romaine, scallions, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, and mint, in addition to sumac.

Note from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen

Sumac is a fruity, tangy spice that is ground from the dried berries of a wild Mediterranean bush. It is available at Middle Eastern markets.


  • 1 large pita bread, split horizontally

  • 1 large romaine heart, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons

  • 1 bunch scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced

  • 3 kirby cucumbers or 1 European cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley (from 3 bunches)

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves (from 1 bunch)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground sumac or fresh lemon juice

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Bake the pita bread directly on the oven rack for 10 minutes, or until the bread is dry and crisp but not browned. Let the pita bread cool completely, then break it into 1-inch pieces.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the romaine ribbons with the sliced scallions, cucumbers, quartered tomatoes, chopped parsley, mint leaves and ground sumac. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add the toasted pita bread pieces to the salad and toss again. Serve at once.

Originally appeared: March 2004

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