Fattoush is a flavorful, nourishing, and healthy Lebanese salad made with a combination of vegetables, herbs and bread. Few also add pomegranate giving a sweet-and-sour flavor to the salad. Fatteh or fattoush in Arabic means crushed or crumbs, hence the dish uses pieces of stale, toasted or fresh flatbread (pita). Fattoush is also spelled as fattush, fatush and fattouche and is a Levantine bread salad made from toasted or fired pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables.
This dish belongs to the family of dishes popularly known as fattat (plural) or fatta, which are made in the Levant by Arab cooks using stale flatbread as a base. Traditionally the fattoush is prepared with use of seasonal produce, mixing different vegetables and herbs according to taste, adding pitas that have gone stale. The vegetables are cut into relatively large pieces compared to tabbouleh which requires ingredients to be finely chopped.
Sumac is usually used to give fattoush its sour taste. Sumac has a slightly lemony flavor which enhances the taste of the salad. Sumac is a traditional spice used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is one of the approximately 250 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus. The fruits from this small trees form dense clusters of reddish drupes called sumac bobs.
The dried drupes of some species are ground to produce a tangy deep red or purple powder used as spice. Sumac is added usually to salads or meat dishes as it gives a lemony taste. In Arab cuisine, it is used as a garnish on meze dishes such as hummus and is added to salads in the Levant. In Iranian (Persian and Kurdish) cuisine, sumac is added to rice or kebab. In Turkish cuisine, it is added to salad-servings of kebabs and lahmacun. Rhus coriaria is used in the spice mixture za'atar (another popular spice).
The spice sumac, or sumach, isn't an herb but it’s a berry that grows on a Mediterranean bush. It grows mostly in southern Italy and the Middle East and is mainly used only in Mediterranean dishes. If you've ever eaten za'atar, you've probably eaten sumac because it is usually one of the ingredients of za'atar.
Fattoush salad usually combines summer veggies, a healthy load of fresh herbs, fried or toasted pita bread, and za’atar – a sesame and sumac-based topping that gives fattoush its unique zingy flavor. Fattoush is totally a fresh, refreshing and satisfying meal, perfect for a light, summer afternoon lunch, but can easily be made into a meal with the addition of chickpeas or beans.
Primarily a traditional fattoush is made with radish, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, onion, sumac, mint, toasted or fried pita, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. To can also add other optional ingredients this includes the feta cheese, carrot, red pepper, green pepper, olives, parsley and garlic in making it more colorful, appetizing and exotic to taste.
For preparing this wonderful and nutritious healthy Fattoush, firstly make the dressing ready taking equal amounts of olive oil, garlic vinegar and lemon juice. Combine and season with salt and black pepper. Mix well. (Make plenty of dressing and store the remaining which you do not use in the fridge).
Combine the vegetables (chopped chives, cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and chopped, lettuce, shredded small, medium green pepper, seeded, de ribbed, and diced, scallions, chopped, tomatoes, cubed); herbs (finely chopped fresh mint, finely chopped parsley) and bread (toasted and cut into cubes).
Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well, and chill for 30-60 minutes before serving. For an authentic Arabic flavor, the dressing should be made of equal parts of oil and lemon juice. However, you may prefer to use more oil - perhaps two to three parts of oil to one of lemon juice.
Tip: Toasting the pita adds crunch to this bright-tasting salad, and a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of ground sumac—the berry of a bush that grows wild all over Lebanon—add depth and flavor. Allow the salad sit for a bit before eating allows the pita to soak up the lemony dressing.
Overall Fattoush is a very refreshing, healthy, lemony salad that each one of should try this recipe. It is a very simple and easy to prepare.
For trying this dish, do click on the below link for detailed recipe:
Traditionally, sumac was also used as a medicine. In medieval times it was used to treat about half a dozen ailments. Research has found sumac to have antimicrobial properties and suggests that it may be used to treat and prevent hyperglycemia, diabetes and obesity due to hypoglycemic properties.