Toasted Pita & Bean Salad

Serving Size: about 2 cups

Yield: 4 servings, about 2 cups each

Servings: 4

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Beans add protein to this tasty riff on the classic Middle Eastern salad fattoush, made with lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, mint and pita bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 6-inch whole-wheat pita breads, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ground toasted cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans, well drained and slightly warmed
  • 1 cup diced plum tomatoes or 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sliced romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread pita pieces out on a large baking sheet. Bake until crisp and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool on the pan.
  3. Mash garlic and salt with the back of a chef’s knife to form a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add lemon juice and ground cumin and whisk to blend. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking continually. Season with pepper.
  4. Place beans, tomatoes and cucumber in a serving bowl. Add the toasted pita, lettuce, feta, parsley, mint and the dressing; toss to mix. Season with more pepper. Serve immediately.

Tips

Make Ahead Tips:

  • Cover and refrigerate the dressing (Step 3) for up to 3 days.

How To:

  • How to Cook a Pot of Beans 1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours.  2. When you’re ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Makes about 6 cups. 3. Refrigerate beans in their cooking liquid for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. One pound dry beans makes 5 to 6 cups cooked. For recipe substitutions, use about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans in place of one 15-ounce can of beans.
  • Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Grind in a spice mill or blender into a fine powder.

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