Stale bread is so good for sopping up juicy salad ingredients, no wonder it’s a favorite no-waste ingredient! There’s Italian panzanella, with its tomatoes and basil; there are crunchy, delicious croutons; and there’s fattoush (pronounced fuh-TOOSH), a Middle Eastern salad that uses stale pita and traditionally includes the green, slightly citrus-tasting herb purslane (which might grow wild in your garden, if you have one). We use lettuce and other herbs instead. 

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Hands-on time: 50   |    Total time: 60   |    Makes: 4 Servings


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Jar with a tight-fitting lid
Large bowl 
Rimmed baking sheet
Spoon, for stirring 


For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground sumac (if you have it)
For the fattoush:
2 (6 1/2-inch) whole-wheat pita breads, cut into 1-inch squares (stale is fine)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground sumac (if you have it) or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 large tomatoes, cored and diced
1⁄2 head romaine lettuce, cored and chopped
3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, diced, or 1 regular cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 scallions, roots trimmed off, white and green parts thinly sliced


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

  1. Make the dressing: Put the ingredients in the jar, screw on the lid tightly, and shake until blended.
  2. Turn the oven on and set the heat to 250 degrees.
  3. Put the pita bread squares, olive oil, sumac (if you have it) or thyme, and salt in the large bowl and toss until the bread is coated on all sides.
  4. Dump the pita bread squares on the baking sheet. Once the oven temperature has reached 250 degrees, transfer to the oven. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Put the tomatoes, romaine, cucumbers, radishes, parsley, mint, and scallions in the large bowl and toss well. Add the pita squares, drizzle in half the dressing and mix well. Taste the salad and, if it needs more dressing, add some.
  6. Serve right away. 


Ground sumac is a popular Middle Eastern seasoning made from the dried red berries of the sumac tree. It’s tart and colorful, and it’s an important ingredient in the spice blend za’atar, which also includes thyme and sesame seeds. If you can’t find it, the salad will still be delicious! Just add more lemon, if it needs more of a tangy kick.