Thanksgiving fatteh

Thanksgiving fatteh

This fatteh has got Thanksgiving spirit out the wazoo, with heaps of caramelized brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, and even a little bit of celery. It’s also topped with more classic fatteh ingredients, like chickpeas, yogurt tahini sauce, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and parsley.

It’s one of my favorites, because it can go right from polished vegetarian centerpiece to leftover magnet, which is just the kind of kitchen miracle everyone could use this time of year, so I hope you get a chance to make it in one form or another. Whether or not you include it in your official Thanksgiving dinner, definitely make sure you buy some pita bread, because fatteh is all about leftovers. Its name refers to broken up pieces of leftover bread, which get toasted, covered in sauce and/or stock, and topped with a variety of delicious ingredients (you can adapt it to include whatever you’ve got around).

Thanksgiving fatteh
Thanksgiving fatteh
Thanksgiving fatteh
Thanksgiving fatteh

If you’re interested in coming up with your own leftover adaptation, check out these fabulous recipes to learn more about what makes fatteh fatteh. There are a ton of different kinds and variations (please do try them all!), and it’s always fun to get creative, but they all have a few important things in common, e.g., crunchy pita, some sort of sauce (usually tahini-yogurt), a few ingredients that tend to show up, etc.:

Tony Tahhan’s spiced beef and chickpea fatteh
Yumna Jawad’s Lebanese chicken fatteh
Eyad Houssami’s fatteh with cumin chickpeas and tahini yogurt
Amira’s Pantry’s fattet al-makdous (stuffed eggplant fatteh)

Thanksgiving fatteh
Thanksgiving fatteh

thanksgiving fatteh

yield: 4 to 6 servings
active time: 20 minutes
total time: 45 minutes
(also known as fatta or fateh)
download a PDF to print

tahini yogurt sauce

  • 1 small clove garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt *

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

  1. Place the garlic in a blender or food processor and finely mince it (or mince and whisk by hand).

  2. Add the coriander, cumin, tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the water, and blend until emulsified. Gradually add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of water, and blend until it thins out into a pourable consistency. It may thicken slightly as it sits, so feel free to thin it further before serving.

* If you want to make this recipe vegan, simply make a tahini sauce instead, but make sure you thin it out enough, because this dish needs a very light sauce.

the fatteh

  • 3 medium pitas (220 grams)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1 medium sweet potato, 1/2-inch diced (180 grams)

  • About 18 small brussels sprouts, halved (180 grams)

  • 1 small stalk celery, sliced 1/4 inch (50 grams)

  • 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas (125 grams)

  • tahini yogurt sauce (above)

  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts

  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (plus more on the side, optionally)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (plus more on the side)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F convection.*

  2. Cut the pita into large bite-sized triangles, and coat evenly in about 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread evenly on a sheet pan, salt to taste, and bake until golden brown (about 10 to 14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pita). Spread the baked pita chips out onto a serving platter.

  3. Preheat the oven’s broiler (or use the hottest possible setting).

  4. Coat the sweet potato, brussels sprouts, and celery in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread evenly on a sheet pan (sprouts should be cut-side-up), salt to taste, and bake for about 12 minutes.** The sweet potatoes must be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The celery should retain some bite, and won’t take on much color. The brussels sprouts should retain some bite and should be charred on the outside.

  5. Top the pita chips with a couple spoonfuls of the tahini yogurt sauce. Top with the sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, celery, and chickpeas, and add a couple more spoonfuls of the sauce. Garnish with the pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and parsley, and serve with extra pomegranate seeds, parsley, and sauce on the side.

* If you don’t have convection, no worries—it just might take a little longer for them to toast, and you might need to rotate the pan once halfway through to make sure they’re browning evenly.
** Broilers vary a ton, so keep a close eye on it to make sure nothing’s burning. If it looks like they’re caramelizing before they have a chance to cook through, reduce the temperature and/or move them away from the heat source.

Thanksgiving fatteh

pomegranate cilantro tabbouleh

Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh

Is there a rule that all cold weather fruit has to start with the letter "p"? Either way, it's November, and I can't get enough pomelos, pomegranates, persimmons, and pears, which are crowding out the one free shelf in my kitchen. I'm not a true stickler for seasonal produce, but I do believe in eating as much of it as possible, because it's both delicious and sensible (an unbeatable combination), and maybe even a little poignant because of its impermanence. So when the farmers market shuts down, and the tomatoes at the supermarket start to look a little mealy, pale, and unpleasantly crunchy, it's time to change up your tabbouleh routine with some pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh
Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh

This recipe for pomegranate cilantro tabbouleh doesn't leave the tomatoes out altogether, although you absolutely could, and their absence wouldn't be unprecedented. During winter months when fresh tomatoes aren't available, tomatoes are traditionally left out of tabbouleh. Plus, I've also got a recipe for tomatillo tabbouleh verde, which subs these green, crunchy fall nightshades for the tabbouleh-standard red summer tomatoes.

But in this recipe, the post-summer, slightly sad tomatoes are helped out by the added pomegranate seeds. They add the bright red color sorely missing from summer produce in October (go figure!), and they also bring a lot of sweetness and zest, which is missing from pale tomatoes. Pomegranate and cilantro are a perfect match, and so I've also replaced the traditional parsley with bunches of cilantro. But if you're one of 10% of people who taste cilantro as soap, certainly feel free to use parsley instead.

Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh
Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh

A few recipes notes: I highly recommend removing your pomegranate's seeds in a bowl underwater, which prevents them from spraying juice all over the place, and also makes it easy to separate the pith from the seeds. Also, since this dish uses cilantro instead of parsley, it won't hold up as well over time. The leftovers aren't as good the next day, whereas parsley-based tabouleh tends to last for a few days in the fridge. So this tabouleh is best served right away, or up to an hour after mixing it up (but fortunately, leftovers aren't usually a problem here).

And just a quick note, in case you were worried: don't think I've forgotten about Thanksgiving. I will post a full menu plan (featuring a different pomegranate tabbouleh) very soon.

Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh
Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh
Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh

cilantro pomegranate tabbouleh

yield: 4 to 6 servings
total time: 20 minutes
download a PDF to print

  • 1/2 cup fine burghul/bulgur #1 *

  • 3 fresh plum tomatoes, diced small, with their juices (3/4 c diced)

  • The juice of 2 lemons (between 1/3 - 1/2 cup, to taste)

  • 1 big bunch or 2 small bunches cilantro

  • 1 bunch green onions

  • 4 sprigs of mint, stems removed

  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds + 2 tablespoons for garnish (from about 1 small pomegranate)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. If you're using fine burghul/bulgur #1, you do not need to cook your burghul in hot water; instead, soak the burghul in a bowl with the diced tomatoes, their juices, and the lemon juice. If the mixture looks a little dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water. Let the mixture soak while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

  2. Hold the cilantro together like a bouquet and then rip off the bulky stems in one motion by carefully wringing the whole thing in your hands. Wash the cilantro in cold water, dry it really well, and then mince it.

  3. Wash, dry, and mince the green onions and mint leaves.

  4. Combine the prepped ingredients with the pomegranate seeds, extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses, salt, and pepper. Mix well, garnish with the extra pomegranate seeds, and serve immediately. Cilantro tabbouleh will not keep as long as parsley tabbouleh.

* You can find burghul #1/fine bulgur at most Middle Eastern grocers. If you can't find a source near you, you can substitute couscous, cracked wheat, or coarse bulgur. However, these will need to be cooked in boiling water, according to the package instructions (or until al dente), rinsed, and then soaked with the tomatoes and lemon juice for about ten minutes. Burghul #1 is pre-cooked and very fine, so it doesn't need the extra step of being cooked in boiling water.

Pomegranate Cilantro Tabbouleh