Fattoush is an incredibly popular “bread salad,” said to have originated in Northern Lebanon. Lebanese farmers would fry leftover pita scraps in a bit of olive oil for extra flavor. And to build their fattoush, they’d simply throw the pita chips in with whatever in-season vegetables and herbs they have on hand.
For this reason, the ingredient list for fattoush may vary. And you will certainly find different versions of fattoush throughout the Middle East. Two key ingredients that stay relatively similar however, are pomegranate molasses and sumac. Chef Ani's version contain both!
If you were to order a basic fattoush salad at a local restaurant, you likely find: cucumbers, tomatoes, purslane leaves (or lettuce), radish, and green onions. Fresh herbs like parsely or mint, or both. A simple zesty vinaigrette and a generous dash of sumac spice give fattoush its distinctly complex flavor.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF FATTOUSH SALAD?
Fattoush is part of a family of recipes that are known as fattat (plural of fatteh), or shâmiyât (in Syrian). Fattat dishes use stale flatbread as a base. Examples can be found in dishes such as Syrian chickpea fatteh salad, chicken fatteh salad or fatteh al-betenjane (eggplant casserole).
This family of dishes inherently developed in the Arab world as the majority of the bread consumed over there is flatbread, a bread that easily dries out. Like Italians with panzanella or pappa al pomodoro, Arabs found ways to use leftover stale bread in their everyday recipes.