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Fabulous Fattoush ~ A Middle Eastern Salad with Vegetables and Toasted Bread

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There is nothing better than a Fattoush Salad in Summer with seasonal, glistening vegetables! Pita bread is toasted in the oven with olive oil and Za’atar seasoning and tossed into the salad. Finish with a Zesty Lemony Sumac Dressing

Fattoush Salad with added Grilled Eggplant and Feta Cheese
Fattoush Salad up close with the freshest local ingredients
Market Fresh Vegetables with Homemade toasted Pita Bread “Croutons”

What is Fattoush?

Fattoush is a popular salad in Lebanon made with mixed greens, a lemony vinaigrette and pita bread pieces. The main vegetable components are typically chopped cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and mixed greens.

Toasting the pita adds crunch and a sprinkle of ground sumac—which grows wild all over Lebanon—adds depth. Let the salad sit for a bit to let the pita soak up the lemony dressing.

Background:
Said to have originated in Northern Lebanon. Farmers would fry leftover pita scraps in a bit of olive oil for extra flavor and toss together whatever in-season vegetables and herbs they have on hand. In the broader family of Mediterranean cuisine (can be anything touching that sea) also has strong Levantine influences.
Fattūsh is derived from the Arabic fatt “crush” and the suffix of Turkic origin -ūsh.

This is a  wonderfully, healthy salad you can tailor to your taste… toss in fresh farmers’ market seasonal ingredients and make it your own!

My variation: there are plenty of unique variations on the chopped salad.
While at my local farmers’ market, I especially was drawn to summer slender eggplant with its gorgeous purple hue and tight, shiny skin. I decided to grill some, chop it up and add to the salad. A very typical vegetable in they region, so why not?
Feta cheese for me was an obvious “add-in” – I love the extra tang, creaminess and a punch of protein.
These two are optional – build the salad with your favorite ingredients. Fresh mint and parsley (both growing strong in my garden) are must ingredients for a fresh flavor.
Extra proteins like steamed shrimp or grilled chicken pieces would be worthwhile additions – depends on how “classic” of a recipe you wish to make.

I add Za’atar (see my recipe!) to the pita bread and the eggplant. Adds a lively, earthy touch.
Ground Sumac is necessary for a tart flavor in the dressing – easy to find in health food and better grocery shops. Sprinkle extra on the final salad – will glisten with a purple-red color.

Enjoy!!
Karen

Ingredients for the salad -add the best local tomatoes
Local slender Eggplant – slice in half, grill and add to the salad if desired
Homemade Pita Bread rising.. yes I made my own! (gluten-free)
Homemade Pita Bread out of the skillet
Sliced, cut and toasted Pita Bread for “croutons”
Zesty Sumac-Lemon Dressing
Crisp and Refreshing Fattoush Salad
Fattoush Salad – a summertime treat with local produce
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