Thursday, March 11, 2010

Toasted Pita and Bean Salad Recipe - How to Make Toasted Pita and Bean Salad


Enjoy a wonderful Middle Eastern/Lebanese Toasted Pita and Bean Salad Recipe. 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 whole-wheat pita breads, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
2 clove(s) garlic, peeled
1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
2 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon(s) ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tips & Techniques)
3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cup(s) cooked pinto beans, well drained and slightly warmed (see How to Cook a Pot of Beans, below)
1 cup(s) diced plum tomatoes or 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup(s) sliced romaine lettuce
1 cup(s) crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoon(s) 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.
Carb Servings: 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 medium fat meat, 2 fat Carbohydrate Servings: 2 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).

Tips & Techniques

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.
Lebanese Fattoush - Chickpea Fattoush - Lentil Tabbouleh Recipe

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