If I had a pita chip for every time in the last year that I discovered or developed a new Lebanese recipe, I'd have enough chips to fill a big bowl for fattah.
Fattah — a bowl layering warm chickpeas, pita chips, beautiful garnishes, and garlicky yogurt -- is one of the most brilliant uses for pita chips and chickpeas there is. Yet somehow, this classic, brightly colored dish managed to elude me for years.
Finally, on a visit to Washington, D.C., I had dinner at the renowned Lebanese Taverna. The menu offered at least three variations on fattah: with fried eggplant, with roasted lamb, with chicken. I went for the eggplant and swooned.
At home I can be lazy when it comes to a casual bowl of food like this, so the fattah I’ve been making doesn’t have the Taverna’s eggplant, lamb, or chicken. In my opinion, it doesn't need them. That said, you can add whatever's on hand in the produce bin (fresh or even roasted), or any protein you like.
Recipe for Maureen Abood's Lebanese Fattah (Chickpeas, pita chips, and labneh with garnishes)
This dish comes together quickly when you have a well-stocked larder with labneh, chickpeas, and pita chips. I like
to make these regularly and keep them on hand at all times. You can use peeled chickpeas (my favorite), but chickpeas cooked from dry or even canned chickpeas will work well here, too. Add fried eggplant, roasted chicken or lamb for extra oomph.
Makes 2 servings
For the chickpeas:
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
½ cup water
Big pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
For the garlicky labneh:
1 cup labneh
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Squeeze of lemon juice
For the garnishes:
Scallions, thinly sliced
Pine nuts, toasted
Fresh mint, finely chopped
In a small saucepan, heat the chickpeas with the water and salt until warmed through. Strain. Add to a small bowl and
stir in the olive oil.
Mix the labneh with the garlic, salt, and lemon juice.
Divide the warm chickpeas among two pretty serving bowls, mounding them in the center of each. Spoon a big dollop of labneh on top. Surround the chickpeas with the pita chips, scallions, and radish, then garnish with pine nuts, fresh mint, and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.
Words, Recipe + Photograph by Maureen Abood