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August 19, 2006

Pita Bread Salad with Olivada Dressing

This recipe came about as sort of a collision between two recipes. One was a recipe for a panzanella (an Italian salad involving toasted cubes of bread) with an olivada dressing featured in the weekly newsletter for The Splendid Table (who apparently excerpted it from xcerpted from Tomatoes and Mozzarella: 100 Ways to Enjoy This Tantalizing Twosome All Year Long by Hallie Harron and Shelley Sikora). The other was a recipe for fattoush (a Lebanese salad involving toasted pita bread) from Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. I took some of the ingredients from the panzanella, some from the fattoush, added a few things of my own, and, hey, salad!

I suppose since I used pita bread, this is a fattoush, and not a panzanella. Maybe it's a fattounella. Or a panzoush. (The two greatest things about fattoush and panzanella, are 1) they're a great way to use up slightly stale bread, and 2) they're fun to say.)


For the salad:
  • 2 rounds whole wheat pita bread
  • 3-4 handfuls of argula, washed
  • 2 oz. fresh mozarella cheese, diced
  • 1 really enormous tomato, or an equivalent number of smaller tomatoes, diced. (I used a gigantic heirloom thing from the farmers' market - bigger than a softball)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive tapenade (I used storebought tapenade)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • Steps

    1. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Place the pita rounds on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes total, turning once, until crispy. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.
    3. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
    4. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the salad to taste (the recipe makes more dressing than you'll need for a salad for 2 people), toss, and season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Break the pita rounds into bite-sized pieces. Put some salad in a bowl, garnish with pita, and serve.

    Makes enough to serve 2 hungry people as a main course, or more people as a side dish.

    Posted by spaceling at August 19, 2006 03:39 PM

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