Fattoush: A salad torn to pieces, with stale bread and fresh vegetables

Amy Scattergood

On a sunny Saturday morning at the farmers market, fill a market bag with these things: tiny ripe heirloom tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, bunches of parsley and mint, pink breakfast radishes, salad greens — whatever looks best.

Go home. Break up stale pita bread — left out from last night's dinner, or forgotten in the back of the refrigerator — and toast it. Why? You're making fattoush, a Middle Eastern bread salad. ("Fatta" means torn to pieces, which is a great thing to tell your kid when you ask for help.)

Find the biggest bowl you can. Whisk together the dressing; then chop up and drop in the vegetables that were at those farmers' stands just an hour ago.

Load the bowl with greenery, toss in the crisp bits of bread. (Other things you can add: garbanzo beans, feta cheese, bell peppers, avocados.) Mix with kitchen tongs or your hands, and spill the whole salad onto a sheet pan. Hand your kid a cup of mint tea and two forks, and eat lunch from the pan, just the two of you.


Time: 40 minutes.

Servings: 4 to 6

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sumac

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size

2 cups chopped Persian cucumbers

1/2 medium red onion, finely sliced

3 whole wheat pitas, preferably stale, torn

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups fresh salad greens: purslane, watercress, maiche, arugula, romaine or a combination

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, the minced garlic, sumac and red wine vinegar. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers and onion, toss and set aside.

2. Place the torn pita pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper and salt. Bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Add the greens, mint and parsley to the bowl, and toss in the cooled pitas. Serve immediately.