The days after Christmas are always filled with delicious foods, and oftentimes, with self-recriminations over eating all those delicious foods (not that I speak from personal experience or anything). So I developed this recipe to be a) delicious and b) healthy! And I made it using only what I had in the house, hence the name: Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It Fattoush Salad!
Fattoush is a Mediterranean salad, made with crunchy bits of pita. I suspect that it originated as a way to use up stale pita — toss it with olive oil, vinegar, a few herbs, and some veggies! These days it’s made with fresh pita, usually dabbed with oil and baked until crispy. I didn’t have any pita in the house, but whipped some up myself using this recipe. (Who knew it was so easy?)
My dad, who is of Mediterranean origin, will shake his head if he reads this post, because fattoush usually contains some dried sumac as a seasoning. Do I have it in the house? No! Am I the Queen of Substitutions? Yes! So I just mixed up a dressing that seemed vaguely Mediterranean-ish (heavy on the olive oil and garlic), sprinkled on some pomegranate seeds, and called it good. The DH called it delicious!
Make some fattoush yourself, and modify the ingredients to match what you have in the house! Then feel virtuously healthy and enjoy another Christmas sweet! (Hey, it’s all about the balance, is it not?)
Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It Fattoush Salad
- 8 baby tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 head Romaine lettuce, sliced
- 1/2 English cucumber, cubed
- 1 pita
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 c. pomegranate seeds
- dash of salt
- 1 tsp. blackstrap molasses
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. high quality olive oil, plus extra to drizzle over the finished salad
- 2 tsp. dried parsley
- dash of dried thyme
- pinch of dried tarragon
- 1 tbsp. vinegar
Split pita in half, spread 1 tbsp. oil on each half, and toast in oven on high heat until it starts to get crispy. Let cool, and break into bite-sized pieces.
Mix dressing ingredients together and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the vegetables together, add in the pita pieces, pour the dressing over it all, and toss to mix. Plate immediately, and drizzle with more olive oil.
But…didn’t I write something about a nutrition profile in the title of this post? Indeed I did! While salad for a meal is in and of itself healthy, why not bump up the nutrition level? Which is exactly what I did! I used blackstrap molasses in the dressing instead of regular molasses, because it’s higher in iron and lower in sugar.
Plus, when I was making the pita breads, I sprinkled either side of the pita with freshly ground flax seeds (omega fatty acids, baby!) as well as ground psyllium husk (up with fibre!). Ideally, the pita would have been whole wheat, but again, I was working with what I had in the house.
Had I had more time, I probably would have made some lentil sprinkles to add to the salad as well, just to make sure there was some protein in the dish, but hey, one does one’s best. When I make this dish again though, those lentil sprinkles are IN! (Totally picturing my culinary purist father throwing his hands in the air at the addition of lentils to fattoush. Tee hee hee!)
Next Post: Those peppermint chocolate candy cane cupcakes that I mentioned last time! Probably. Unless I make some chocolate whoopie pies with peppermint buttercream. Hmm. Any strong feelings either way? Let me know in the comments!