Contributor: Caroline Coker
I love pretty much everything about this recipe, but take note, I’m a dipper. I prefer to use store bought pita chips, or house made baked pita chips for this healthy and satisfying dish. When home, I stop by the Seaside Farmers Market on Saturday, or Modica Market to pick up grocery needs. I grew up in a house on the new urbanism streets behind Modica Market, attended Seaside Neighborhood School, and actually worked for the Modica family when I was in 6th grade. Time flies! However, when whipping up Fattoush-ish, I prefer to serve the chips on a platter (not in the dish) around this Middle Eastern vegetable salad making for a nice presentation, and a shining example of all that is good for you. It’s cool, refreshing, and perfect after working out, a day at the lake or beach, or if just needing something nourishing for your body. Fattoush is a Levantine bread salad made from pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as lettuce, radish and tomato. You can also serve this recipe with the pita chips mixed in over lettuce. This recipe is also similar to Panzanella, a Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes that is a popular summer dish, which includes soaking chunks of stale bread and tomatoes with onions, often dressing it with olive oil and vinegar. Whatever you want to call it, nutritionally, my Fattoush-ish salad packs a punch, meeting over 50% of the RDA’s (recommended dietary allowance) for Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium, riboflavin, potassium, and is filled with protein. Double dipping is discouraged.
5 green onions white and green parts, thinly sliced
12 ripe cherry tomatoes,cut in quarters
1/2 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and ½-inch-diced
1/2 can (12 ounce) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 teaspoon minced garlic (1-3 coves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
4 ounces good feta cheese, 1/4 inch-diced or large crumble
Toasted pita bread, or baked chips for serving
In a medium bowl, add green onions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, and basil, then toss to combine
In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the dressing over the salad, folding gently to coat all the vegetables. Add the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently. Serve the salad with the toasted pita bread.
Tip: Grill chicken or steak and serve the salad as a side dish. A guaranteed hit.
Note: It is even better made the day before to allow for the flavors to marry, and perfect for entertaining or meal planning. The olive oil will congeal, so you must let it stand outside the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Then just stir, and serve!
Contributor Caroline Coker was raised on 30A, and has been living in South Walton, Florida since the age of five. She is passionate about health and fitness, and graduated in Nutritional Science from The University of Alabama in August 2015. You will find more of her work here at 30AEats.com on Beach Eats, recipes that she is working on for her first cookbook. Caroline also handles the social media for GulfCoastRestaurants.com.