Fatteh is built on contrasts. The Lebanese morning staple — it’s commonly consumed after fasting during Ramadan since it’s easy to prepare and filling — consists of crumbled toasted pita playing against creamy yogurt, with the superfood bona fides of chickpeas countering an indulgent splash of butter. Most pleasing, though, is the dish’s interplay of temperatures. According to Nasr Khonaisser, chef-owner of Lincolnwood’s Libanais, this requires some coordination: The chickpeas must be hot and the yogurt cool at the time of assembly, and the buttery pine nuts should be showered on top the moment they’re toasted, producing a delicious sputter to signal breakfast time.
Nasr Khonaisser’s Fatteh Beirutieh
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:40 minutes
|3 cups||Canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed|
|3¾ cups||Plain yogurt|
|4||Garlic cloves, minced|
|1 tsp.||Kosher salt, plus more for serving|
|8 Tbsp.||Unsalted butter, cut into 8 equal pieces|
|¾ cup||Pine nuts|
|2 tsp.||Sumac (like Spice House brand), plus more for serving|
|¼ tsp.||Cayenne pepper, plus more for serving|
1. Place chickpeas in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer until chickpeas are very tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together yogurt, garlic, and salt in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Five minutes before chickpeas are ready, slice pita into two rounds. Crisp the pita under a broiler or in a toaster oven, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes. Crumble into small pieces and spread evenly across a large serving platter. Drain chickpeas and layer them on top of the pita, followed by the yogurt mixture.
3. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. When butter foams and begins to smell toasty, about 6 minutes, add pine nuts. Sauté, stirring constantly, just until nuts begin to brown, about 1 minute.
4. Immediately pour hot butter and pine nuts over yogurt mixture. Sprinkle with sumac and cayenne pepper. Add more sumac, cayenne, or salt if desired, and serve.