I love, love, love this salad. The rest of my family enjoyed it too. It’s fast and easy to make, though splitting the pita before toasting it was pretty difficult. I’ve seen it done many times by the handsome nimble-fingered men who work at our local falafel take-out restaurant. They make it look so easy. Yet for some reason it took me two pitas to come up with two halves to toast that weren’t shredded to bits like bank account statements in a recycling bin. Oh well, if that was the most challenging part of making this dish, then I have nothing to complain about. And in any case, if you have a pet, toddler or a pregnant woman in the house, then the shredded pita pieces will not go to waist – I mean, ‘waste’.
This salad is a slight deviation from a Village Greek Salad: just substitute the olives, cucumber and oregano for artichoke hearts, cumin-brushed pita and mint or basil. Just seeing the words “artichoke hearts” brings a smile to my face. My mother-in-law gets tongue-tied whenever she tries to say it and ends up sputtering “artichoke tarts”. And my sister-in-law, the 19-year-old student living with us until the summer, admits that when she hears “artichoke hearts” she thinks of fish. Anchovies, I suspect.
We had this salad alongside barbecued chicken, tzatziki sauce, falafel balls and lemon-infused rice. I got the inspiration for placing lemon wedges in with the simmering rice from last week’s Warm cucumber and shrimp sauté sidebar suggestion of simmering rice with a cinnamon stick. I had half a lemon left over from the salad dressing so I sliced it into a few chunky wedges and placed it in the pot with the rice, discarding them once the rice was cooked. We all loved it.
We had quite the Middle-Eastern inspired feast and plenty of leftovers to throw together into containers to bring to work (or school). We chose to add the lemon rice to the salad. Once noon hits we’ll assemble our pita sandwiches in front of our colleagues (or classmates, if applicable) and have a tasty, hearty, healthy lunch to get us through the rest of the day. Can’t wait!