Lamb and Spinach Fatta (Fattet Sabanikh)

I’ve had a hankerin’ for lamb lately, so I made this layered dish featuring a spinach and lamb stew over broken toasted pita, covered with a mint-garlic yogurt sauce, and covered with roasted pine nuts! Not the most photogenic of dishes, but we both loved all the different flavors and textures. The recipe comes from Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen.

Chris says:

I’m happy about finally making a lamb dish… and this was actually pretty simple. It cooks for a while, but it’s mostly hands-off.

Lisa says:

This is really good… and the kitchen smells great!

Chris says:

I’m gonna happily get “fatta” by eating more of it.

Lisa says:

I like scooping up the stew with the toasted pita.

Chris says:

If “Middle Eastern Nachos” didn’t sound so unappetizing I’d call it that.

Lisa says:

I just call it delicious.

Lamb and Spinach Fatta (Fattet Sabanikh)
2 bunches of spinach (about 2 lbs)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 lb lean boneless lamb, cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 tsp Mixed Spices (4 parts ground cinnamon, 1 part each ground nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups water
juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp Middle Eastern red pepper
2 6″ pita breads, toasted and broken into bite-sized pieces
Minted Garlic Yogurt Sauce (1 1/2 cups low-fat yogurt, crushed garlic, 1 tsp crushed dried mint)

Wash the spinach thoroughly, remove and discard the stems, roughly chop, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until softened, stirring frequently. Add the lamb and saute, turning to brown on all sides. Add the Mixed Spices, salt, pepper, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until the meat is tender and most of the water has been absorbed. If it has not, uncover and boil until the liquid is reduced. Stir in the spinach, cover, and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, and adjust the spices to taste. Turn off the heat.
In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the pine nuts and saute until golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in the red pepper and remove from the heat.
To serve, spread pieces of the toasted pita in the bottom of a serving dish. Spoon the lamb and spinach stew over them. Cover with the yogurt sauce and garnish with the sauteed pine nuts. Dribble the red pepper butter remaining in the skillet over the top.

4 Servings.

5 responses to “Lamb and Spinach Fatta (Fattet Sabanikh)”

  1. Is this a lebanese dish? we made fattah on our blog a long time ago and i agree, it’s totally not photogenic! ours was a traditional lebanese dish but didn’t have spinach. just curious!

  2. WANF — The book we got the recipe from contains those from Lebanon, Syria, and surrounding areas… at the very least it was inspired by the flavors of the region!

  3. I actually think this looks GREAT! I made a very similar Turkish dish on my website “”. The layers of textures are just amazing. I’m going to give this one a try.

    The recipe I followed was from Claudia Roden’s book, ‘Arabaesque’, which explores food from Morocco, Turkey & Lebanon. She’s an amazing food writer.

  4. Chris

    It is actually Nick my 20-year old son who told me “mom, you got to call it something American can relate to”! I was going to call it Mexican-style, not as catchy!
    Love that one you made! I actually made it too but without the meat ( I am trying to do lent stuff)

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