Fattoush (pronounced fah-TOOSH) is a Middle Eastern salad traditionally made with vegetables, herbs, and toasted pita bread. Our friend Ana Sortun makes it a little differently depending on the season, but in our favorite version she swaps out the usual tomatoes for apples and radishes. She’s also been known to substitute a bitter green called escarole for the mild romaine, pomegranates for the apples, and mandarin oranges for the radishes. Try your own substitutions! (And let us know if they’re good.)
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Kitchen scissors or pizza cutter
Large mixing bowl
Rimmed baking sheet
Salad tongs or spoons
- 2 whole-wheat pita breads
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar, or an extra tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 head romaine lettuce, core and outer eaves removed, remaining leaves torn, chopped, or shredded
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1⁄2 English cucumber (the kind that comes wrapped in plastic), diced
- 1 green apple, cored and diced
- 6 radishes, sliced
- 2 teaspoons sumac or grated lemon zest
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
Turn the oven on and set the heat to 375 degrees.
Put the pita bread on the cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch squares, using the scissors or pizza cutter.
Put the pita squares, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the salt in the bowl and mix well. Dump onto the baking sheet, and spread into one layer. Once the oven temperature has reached 375 degrees, put the baking sheet in the oven. Bake until crisp and golden, 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the dressing: Put the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses in the measuring cup and mix well.
Put the lettuce, mint, parsley, cucumber, apple, and radishes in the bowl. Add the cooled pita squares and dressing and toss well. Add salt and pepper, sprinkle with sumac or lemon zest, and serve right away.
No fresh mint? No problem! Swap in 2 teaspoons dried mint or mint tea (either loose or from an herbal tea bag). You can also substitute pita chips for the toasted pita squares.