I am so in love with this salad I want to sing it from the rooftops! It is packed with flavor, texture, and color. It’s easy, yet feels special, and would be lovely to serve for guests.
I received free samples of the Toufayan pita mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering in a recipe content sponsored by Toufayan Bakeries and am eligible to win prizes associated with this content. I was not compensated for my time. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Mexitalian. I’m such a big fan of pita that I sometimes fantasize about opening up my own franchise restaurant and selling some top quality pita products to eager customers who love it as much as me! If I ever do follow up on this dream, I could do so here – HTTPS://FRANCHISEPITAPITUSA.COM/THE-OPPORTUNITY/INVESTMENT/.
It’s always at this time of year and I’m starting to crave the bright, fresh food of summer. A big salad is exactly what I need, but not just any salad, a chopped salad filled with Mediterranean-inspired goodness. When the lovely folks over at Toufayan Bakeries recently sent me some of their pita to try, I was so excited I didn’t know what to make first. I love pita for stuffed sandwiches, like my creamy lentil salad, or as the crust for a quick weeknight pizza. Yet, one of my absolute favorite ways to eat pita is in a fattoush salad!
If you’re not familiar with fattoush, it’s a salad common to Lebanon and several other Middle Eastern countries. I grew up eating it in many of the amazing Lebanese restaurants in the metro Detroit area, and have loved it since I was a kid. What’s not to like about a fresh tomato and cucumber salad filled with crispy pieces of pita?!
This is definitely not your traditional fattoush, but I wanted to take that idea and step it up a notch. Clearly I love trying food from all over the world, and I recently had my very first sabich, an Isreali pita sandwich stuffed with eggplant and hard boiled eggs.
My Mediterranean chopped salad is a mash up of the classic fattoush, and the sabich sandwich I recently fell in love with. It is filled with chopped lettuce, cucumber, and red onion, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas instead of the hummus sometimes served on sabich, roasted slices of eggplant, hard boiled eggs, and arguably the best part- spiced and toasted strips of pita. This salad makes me want to do a happy dance, it’s just so darn good. One thing I will mention too is that this dish is even better if you use a tool like a hard boiled egg peeler, as it means you’ll reduce the likelihood of you getting any shell in your dish, as that’s always a nasty surprise when you crunch down on a piece of broken eggshell!
This is a perfect way to enjoy flavors that might be new or less familiar to you, while still enjoying easily accessible ingredients. I used the Toufayan Bakeries whole wheat pita in this salad, to keep my salad extra healthy by sticking to whole grains. Not only is the whole wheat pita delicious, the ingredient list is nice and short, something that’s really a priority for me when grocery shopping. The pita adds some much needed carbs to an overall light dish, making it a great full meal or first course.
The Mediterranean chopped pita salad is easy, inexpensive, healthy, can be easily made vegan if desired, and will be sure to impress your guests…if you’re willing to share!
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into ½" strips
- 2 whole wheat Toufayan Bakeries pitas, cut in half then into ½" strips
- 1 hothouse English cucumber*
- ½ medium red onion, cut into thin slices
- ¼ c sun dried tomatoes**
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 medium head romaine lettuce, chopped into ¼" strips (approx. 3c)
- 2-4 hard boiled eggs, quartered or sliced
- ¼ c chopped parsley
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 T Za'atar***
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- ⅓ c extra virgin olive oil
- 1 t Za'atar***
- ½ t salt
- Cut the eggplant into ½" strips and spread it out in a large colander. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Use paper towels to soak up the moisture that has been removed from the eggplant then spread the pieces out on a large parchment-lined baking. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes until soft and lightly browned, flipping the pieces over after 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl add the pita strips, 1 T olive oil, 1 t salt, and the Za'atar. Toss until the pita is well coated. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for about 7 minutes, until just crispy. Remove and allow to cool.
- Prepare the salad dressing by mixing all ingredients. Set aside.
- To serve the salad spread the chopped lettuce on a large serving platter. Drizzle the lettuce with about 1 T of the salad dressing. In a large bowl mix the cucumber, onion, sun dried tomatoes, parsley, and chickpeas, with the remaining salad dressing. Spoon the vegetable and dressing mixture atop the lettuce. Top the salad with the strips of eggplant, then the pita strips, then the hard boiled eggs. Garnish with extra parsley if desired.
This salad can easily be prepared in advance. Roast the eggplant and the pita strips and store until ready to served. All remaining salad ingredients can be chopped and stored in the fridge. The dressing can also be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Expect about 5 minutes to put the salad together to serve.
*If you prefer to use traditional cucumbers consider removing the seeds before chopping.
**I used sun dried tomatoes because it's difficult to find good fresh tomatoes year round. If you have access, one large fresh tomato would be a great substitute.
***I found Za'atar at my local spice shop and it was very inexpensive. You might also find it in the international section of the grocery store.