Back in 2003, I was flipping through an issue of Vegetarian Times. I came across a recipe for fattoush salad that sounded delicious. The chewy and crisp toasted pita, the crunch of fresh cucumbers, and the lip puckering goodness of lemon and sumac, it was everything a salad should be. Light, refreshing and yet, hearty at the same time.
While this pita bread salad takes inspiration from fattoush salad, it is a bit of a departure from traditional recipes. It makes ~4-6 dinner salads or 2 large dinner salads. It is best eaten right away, while the pitas are still warm and crisp, and create a contrast to the cool, crunchy vegetables.
I often find myself with a few stray pitas. This vegan kale salad recipe makes sure those pitas don’t go to waste, and provides a healthy, flavorful side or main course. And the best part, it doesn’t matter if the pitas are stale!
Kale Salad with Toasted Pita and Lemon Tahini Dressing
1 batch lemon tahini dressing
6 cups lacinato kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
Lemon juice, a splash
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups English cucumber, chopped
¾ cup radishes, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
¼ cup mint leaves
½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
½ cup pistachios, shelled
3 pitas, cut with scissors or torn into bite-size pieces
Olive oil, to drizzle
Sumac, to top – optional
1. Follow the directions for making lemon tahini dressing. Set aside.
2. Add the lacinato kale to a large mixing bowl. Add a splash of lemon juice, and massage the kale with your hands. It will soften up. Keep massaging until the color is a deeper green. Set aside.
3. Place the rack in the middle of the oven, and then, set the oven to BROIL. Line a cookie sheet or sheet pan with parchment or aluminum foil. Dump the pita pieces on top. Drizzle with some olive oil, and then, move the pita around in it so it is coated. Then, spread the pita pieces across the sheet (or pan) in an even layer.
4. Place the pita in the oven, and broil for 2-3 minutes or until they are toasted. Watch carefully to make sure they do not burn. Remove from the oven.
5. Assemble the salad, either in one big mixing bowl or individual plates. Add the massaged kale, toasted pita, red bell pepper, cucumber, radishes, scallion, mint leaves, parsley leaves and pistachios.
6. Drizzle lemon tahini dressing on top and sprinkle with sumac, if using. Serve immediately.