I've been on a barbecue bender. It's only June, and I need a time-out. This salad presents the perfect interlude. Fattoush is a Middle Eastern garden salad tumbled with toasted pita bread and feta cheese. The pita pieces serve as croutons, adding crispy contrast to the soft salad leaves, while absorbing the tangy sumac-infused vinaigrette. Sumac is a tart red berry which is dried, ground and used for cooking in Middle Eastern cuisine. This fresh and light salad is a wonderful antidote to meaty excess and a healthy vegetarian option for easy weeknight dining.
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried sumac
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pita breads
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 romaine lettuce hearts, coarsely chopped
2 cups arugula leaves
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients, except the olive oil, in a small bowl. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified.
2. Preheat the oven broiler or grill. Lightly brush the pita bread with olive oil and cut each pita into 6 wedges. Broil or grill until light golden and crisp. Remove from the heat, cool to the touch, and break into bite-size pieces.
3. Combine the salad ingredients and the pita in a large bowl. Drizzle half of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Add additional vinaigrette to taste and toss again. Serve garnished with feta and mint.
CAPTIONS AND CREDITS
Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood.