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.
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
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 & 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:
- 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.
- 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.
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