While most of us crave certain foods at certain times of year in keeping with the seasons, there are also some cravings and preferences that know no limits. For us, this meal is one of those timeless dishes. The time of year when I crave crunchy veggies, fresh herbs, tender chicken, and tangy feta is exactly all of the time.

We’ve made many versions of this meal over the past few years, tweaking it all along the way. This past spring we hit upon this particular combination and it was so good, it stuck. This one has everything we want, and I would happily eat it weekly. It is best made on the grill but could absolutely be made with the oven and/or stove during winter months. See my notes at the bottom of the recipe for adapting cooking method accordingly. I hope you love this as much as we do!

  • Prep 20-30 minutes
  • Cook 20 minutes
  • Yield 4 servings


    For the chicken:

  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp. za’atar
  • 3 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the salad:

  • 4-6 heads romaine hearts or baby romaine
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, partially peeled and thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3-4 pita breads (see Notes)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese


  • 01

    In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lemon zest and juice, za’atar, parsley, olive oil, and salt. Whisk to blend well. Add the chicken to the bowl and let marinate at least 2 and up to 8 hours.

  • 02

    To make the dressing, combine the buttermilk, olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine (or place in a lidded jar and shake vigorously).

  • 03

    Heat a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium high fire, or heat a gas grill to high. Lightly oil the grates. Halve or quarter the romaine heads (depending on size) and lightly brush with olive oil (or drizzle and gently toss with your hands to coat).

  • 04

    In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, and radishes. Add in the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine, and set aside. Combine the chopped mint and parsley in a small bowl, and set aside.

  • 05

    Grill the chicken until slightly charred on both sides and the internal temperature registers 165˚ F, about 5-7 minutes. Remove to a platter and let rest a few minutes before slicing into strips. Grill the pita bread over direct heat until charred on both sides, about 1 minute per side (longer if cooking from raw dough.) Remove to a cutting board and cut or tear into chunks. Grill the lettuce over direct heat and cook, turning, to char on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly. If the romaine format you are using is large, you may want to chop it coarsely for more enjoyable eating.

  • 06

    The salad can be assembled on a large platter to serve family style or divided between individual serving plates. To assemble, layer the pita bread pieces, top with romaine, then add the chicken and mixed vegetables. Sprinkle generously with the chopped herbs and crumbled feta. Drizzle with the buttermilk dressing. Serve immediately.

  • 07


  • Baby romaine is ideal for this recipe but I can’t usually find it. Romaine hearts or even romaine heads are fine. Buy whatever quantity seems appropriate for the number of people you are serving.
  • Fattoush is traditionally made using pita bread that has already been cooked. However, I love this salad with freshly made pita cooked directly on the grill (so cooked just once instead of twice.) Either way is fine, so do what sounds best to you! I have used several flatbread recipes for this and lots of them work, but my favorite is the yogurt flatbread from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. This pita dough or this one are also great!
  • If you want to make this recipe when the weather or season doesn’t allow for grilling, have no fear! You can cook the chicken in a skillet or under a broiler. The pita can be baked in the oven or in a skillet if fresh, charred until the broiler or toasted in a skillet if already cooked. If cooking indoors, I probably would just leave the romaine fresh but you could also char it with the broiler if desired.