Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Middle Eastern Salad with Roasted Pita Chips

When I can justify spending a little more dough on groceries, I go to Ina Garten's cookbooks. Her style is just my kind and there have been very few Ina-recipes that have flopped. They seem to be ever reliable and ever delicious.

This salad is pretty good to your wallet too- no odd truffle oils, no foreign French cheeses, no imported salt... it's all at your grocery store and the one splurge is Feta- which, when did Feta become so expensive?- I'm guessing it's because we don't have a Trader Joe's here in Utah. Which is a sore pity. Anywho--moving on from my grief.

Um, and can I just tell you candidly that the roasted pita chips were like tasting ice cream for the first time? Yeah I'm serious. They are wonderfullllllllllllll (think high pitched voice). Pita triangles slathered in olive oil, sprinkled to the max with coarse salt and coarse pepper and roasted in a hot oven.... that, is genius cooking.

Middle Eastern Salad with Roasted Pita Chips

{Ina Garten, how easy is that?}

10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1 lb ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored, and cut into ½’ dices

1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and ½’ diced

1 12-oz can chickpeas, drained

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned

1 Tbsp minced garlic cloves (about 3)

½ cup olive oil (use the best you’ve got!)

8 ounces, feta cheese, crumbled

½ cup lemon juice- the fresh stuff- from 4 lemons

Toasted Pita Chips- for serving

In a large bowl, place the scallions, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley, mint, and basil inside and gently combine.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil to create an emulsion. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Add the feta cheese just before serving and eat with warm pita chips (instructions below).

To roast pita bread, cut each pita into triangles- place them on a cookie sheet. Brush each with a good amount of olive oil- sprinkle coarse salt and pepper liberally over each. Bake at 375 for 10 or so minutes.

1 comment:

Sarah Flib said...

Sounds delicious! As for feta, most of the grocery stores around here carry an expensive variety in the deli section and a more budget-friendly variety by the regular cheeses. Sometimes I get Western Family feta, which may not sound classy but actually tastes great and isn't too expensive. You can also get the really good stuff for super cheap per ounce at Sam's Club (and maybe Costco, too, I don't know). Of course the trick is that you have to want a whole lot of it. Anyway, those are the two things I do to get affordable feta in Utah.