- Course: Antipasto/Mezze, Side Dish
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 36 Times
Fettush is a Lebanese and northern Israeli salad made with roughly cut tomatoes, green bell peppers, onions, scallions, fresh mint, parsley, and watercress, or any wild green in bloom. The dressing is made with lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. It sounds at first like any Israeli salad, but the addition of pita bread brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with za'atar, and baked until crisp adds to the texture and flavor of this Arabic version of a Caesar salad. According to Adnan Abu Odeh, a Jordanian adviser to the king originally from Noblus, bread is not baked every day during Ramadan, so Fattush was created as a way to use up day-old bread, soaking it in the dressing and serving it with the vegetables to break the daily fast. Today it is eaten during Ramadan and throughout the year. Many Jewish Israelis make a form of fettush with matzoh during Passover.
- 2 whole pitas (or 2 matzohs)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon za'atar, or to taste
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 cucumber
- ½ medium onion
- 2 scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
- 1 cup watercress or any wild greens
- 1 handful (about ¼ cup) coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1 handful (about ¼ cup) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the pita breads with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the za’atar. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 5 minutes or until crisp but not browned. (If you are using matzoh, follow these directions but toast in a 200-degree oven.)
2. Dice the tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, and onion into 1-Inch chunks and put them into a salad bowl. Add the scallions, watercress, mint, and cilantro or parsley and toss together.
3. Put the garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the remaining olive oil. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the vegetables and sprinkle with the remaining za’atar: Break up the pita and toss gently with the vegetables. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately.
© 2001 Joan Nathan
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings.