What Is Fattoush And What Does It Taste Like?

Fattoush is a prized, absolutely delicious Lebanese and Middle Eastern dish that takes hardly any time to put together and uses the simplest ingredients that you probably already have on hand. It is also often eaten during Ramadan

Traditionally a mix of pita, tomatoes, onions, sumac, and cucumbers, it is a vegetarian (and sometimes even vegan) meal that is sometimes further highlighted with bright, forward ingredients like mint, parsley, radish, or creamy, tahini-laced dressings, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Fattoush is essentially a chopped salad of fresh vegetables with crisp bits of pita acting as a textural component. Julie Taboulie notes that fattoush is Arabic for "little bread crumbs," obviously in reference to the pita crisps. It is said to have once been a vessel for using pita that was beginning to stale. The dish is also wonderfully adaptable and can be enjoyed in many different variations and in conjunction with different dietary restrictions. It's also obviously quite healthful and light.

Are there different versions of fattoush?

The flavor of fattoush is bright, assertive, and refreshing, with herbal and vegetal notes that are accentuated by the acidity of the sumac and vinegar. It can be eaten on its own, bulked up with grilled proteins such as chicken or steak, or enjoyed as a side dish or appetizer. The Guardian notes that it customarily does not use lettuce and is incredibly popular throughout the Middle East. Lemon and olive oil is also a common addition, and be sure to crisp the pita! Pomegranates (or pomegranate molasses), green and red peppers, onion and garlic, coriander, and even sometimes feta can also be added (via The Guardian). Purslane, watercress, or even arugula is sometimes also added to bolster the amount of greens in the salad. 

Don't forget to enjoy fattoush the next time you're looking for a refreshing chopped salad. Mix and match to your heart's content — but be sure not to skimp on the pita!