Toasted Pita & Bean Salad

Toasted Pita & Bean Salad

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

From EatingWell: September/October 2009
Yield: 4 servings, about 2 cups each
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 30

Ingredients

  1. 2 6-inch whole-wheat pita breads, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
  2. 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  3. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. 2 tablespoons ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tip)
  6. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  7. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  8. 2 cups cooked pinto beans, well drained and slightly warmed (see Tip)
  9. 1 cup diced plum tomatoes or 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  10. 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
  11. 1 cup sliced romaine lettuce
  12. 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  13. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  14. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preparation

  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 & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the dressing (Step 3) for up to 3 days.
  • Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Grind into a powder in a spice mill or blender.
  • 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. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the liquid can be used in some recipes.)
  • Makes about 6 cups.

Nutrition

Nutrition Per Serving: 442 calories; 21 g fat (7 g sat, 10 g mono); 33 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 13 g fiber; 697 mg sodium; 658 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (49% daily value), Vitamin A (38% dv), Vitamin C (30% dv), Calcium (28% dv), Iron (22% dv), Magnesium (21% dv), Potassium (19% dv).

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 medium fat meat, 2 fat