Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Fattoush


Hello dear friends and readers!  It's been brought to my attention that Powered by Plantz is well over-due for a bit of love.  It's true, I haven't written since February.  Multiple factors have contributed to this little break - a new and ugly kitchen that's really hard to take photos in (I'll dazzle you with pictures of it soon, I promise), the start of a new business venture (Check out Dirty Bird Cold Brew Coffee!) and a totally unexpected, not-at-all-planned, holy what-the-whaaaaaa? pregnancy.  That's right folks, I'm pregnant, and have been so for about five and a half months.

Now I know that women do this whole pregnancy thing ALL THE TIME, but the truth is that it freaks me out and I haven't been quite myself.  To stay on the topic of food, let's just say that I've been eating my fair share of grilled cheeses (I'm so sad we're out of cheese now that I've just typed that), french fries, frozen veggie nuggets, and all matter of not-so-good-for-you food.  I'm not saying this to be down on myself, I'm just saying that I doubt you guys are really interested in a post about how to heat a veggie dog and stuff it in your face in under five minutes, or how to eat left-over pizza at 11pm, or how to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's for dinner.  Feel me?  I haven't been feeling terribly inspired in the kitchen, and I haven't been terribly vegan either.   Which is another reason I haven't posted in a while;  this has almost always been a vegan blog, and I'm on the fence about whether or not I want to switch that up.  For today, I don't have the energy to get into the debate (playing the pregnancy card!), I just wanted to share a simple recipe for an amazingly delicious and fresh fattoush.


If you're unfamiliar with fattoush, you're in for a treat.  It's a typical Lebanese salad that makes a great meal on its own, or rounds out a larger mediterranean spread of hummus, tabbouleh, stuffed grape leaves, falafel and the like. It's succulent and refreshing in the summer, and has a whole lot of zing thanks to generous use of sumac and lemon.  (I talked a little bit about sumac in this Cauliflower Tabbouleh post.)  Feel free to add/subtract vegetables to suit your taste, just don't skimp on the sumac, lemon,  mint, tomatoes and toasted pita.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
Juice of one big lemon
1 Tbsp sumac
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried mint, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
salt to taste

3 medium tomatoes -  large dice
2 to 3 small cucumbers, lebanese if you have them, cut into half moons
1 bell pepper, large dice
A few big handfuls of (romaine or other) lettuce, washed and chopped

1 pita bread

METHOD

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients. 
  • Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers and set aside.
  • Cut the pita into 1-inch squares.  Spread on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated oven (about 350) until lightly browned and crisp. 
  • While the pita toasts, wash and chop your lettuce.
  • When ready to serve, add the lettuce and toasted pita squares, toss well and serve immediately.
  • Serves 2 to 4.
Be prepared to eat this whole thing in one go, as it will not keep well.  If you want to do advanced preparation, just hold off on adding the lettuce and pita until you're ready to serve.  Enjoy!



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