Across the Levant, you will find variations on fatteh, dishes built on toasted or fried day-old bread. The term comes from the Arabic word “fatta”, meaning to crumble bread. In this Lebanese version from chef Fouad Kassab’s mother Isabelle, brown butter tops a layered dish of baked pita and chickpeas tossed with spiced yogurt. To save time, soak the chickpeas in water and baking soda: the alkalinity of the soda breaks down the beans’ cellular walls and reduces the cooking time. This recipe first appeared in our October 2014 issue with the story Home for the Harvest.
- 1 1⁄2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight with 1 tsp. baking powder, then drained, or two (16-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained
- 2 (8″) pita breads, torn into 1″ pieces
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3⁄4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
- 3 tbsp. minced mint
- 1⁄4 tsp. paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, browned
- If using dried chickpeas, boil them in water in an 8-qt. saucepan until very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain; transfer to a shallow dish.
- Heat oven to 400°. Toss pita with 1⁄3 cup oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet; spread into an even layer. Bake until golden and crisp, 8–10 minutes; let cool slightly and toss with chickpeas. Heat remaining oil in an 8″ skillet over medium-high. Cook pine nuts until golden, 4–5 minutes; set aside. Stir yogurt, mint, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl; drizzle over pita mixture. Top with pine nuts; drizzle with brown butter.