Fattoush is a middle eastern salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, toasted pita, and a fresh lemon vinaigrette. As with all salads, the ingredients are flexible, but black-eyed peas make it feel like a festive meal.
A note about kitchen staples: If you’ve downloaded the Vinegar Home Kitchen Staples Checklist, you may have noticed that black-eyed peas are listed as a “nice additions” protein staple. This is probably because I spent many of my formative years in the south, and black-eyed peas are a basic staple for me. I recommend stocking up on your top few favorite beans, and as soon as you use one up, check it off on your grocery list to replenish. That way, you’ll always have a variety of beans on hand for salads, rice dishes, soups, and more. Both dried and canned beans will last for at least two-three years in the pantry without losing flavor.
Fresh citrus is also a “nice addition” item on the checklist. Many cooks keep them on hand year-round, but I find them particularly useful with summer vegetables and can usually make do with a good bottled lemon juice in the winter.
Spoiler alert: I’m going to ask you to turn your oven on! This recipe calls for toasted pita bread which adds a nice little crunch and flavor. However, if it’s a hot summer day and you really don’t want to use your oven, you can brown the pita in a skillet with some butter, toast it lightly in the toaster, or skip browning all together and use fresh pita. You could also substitute another kind of crusty bread such as a baguette, but the toasted pita adds a nice texture.
If you’re using dried beans and plan on cooking them on the stovetop, it’s helpful to soak them the night before. Or you can do a “quick boil” and let them soak for an hour before cooking. You can also use an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
Vegetables, Bread & Beans
2 (6-inch) white or whole wheat pitas, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas or 2 cups cooked
3-4 cups arugula or mixed greens
1-1½ cups tomato, diced
2 cups cucumbers, sliced or diced
¼ cup red or white onion, minced or slivered
1 cup flat parsley, chopped, thick stems removed (optional)
¼ cup mint, chopped (optional)
½ cup red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced (optional)
¼ cup radishes, sliced (optional)
6 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp whole-grain mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 small or 1 large clove garlic, minced
½ tsp kosher salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Put all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, whisk it with a fork, give it a shake, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Tear bread into pieces and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, stirring after 4. Set aside.
Rinse, dice, and slice the vegetables, using a serrated knife for the tomatoes.
Add toasted pita and toss with vinaigrette just before serving. This salad is best served immediately.