Clean Eating for the Over Indulger [Fattoush Salad with Zaatar Baked Pita Crisps]

Happy Post Canada Day to all my Canadian friends! 

I hope you’re all recovering from what I assume was a long day (or if you’re like us, perhaps even 2 days) in the sun, filled with good food and drink and of course, great friends and family. 

We celebrated Canada Day in our usual manor. Mr GL’s parents welcome us and all of our friends into their home where we barbecue, swim, eat everything in sight, and enjoy seeing friends we haven’t been able to see in a while. It’s always one of my favourite days of the year. 

Being my favourite day of the year, I often over indulge on just about everything. Sun, food and especially drink. To make matters worse, we’re both lobster red and I managed to get mosquito bites on every square inch of my body (and somehow Mr GL came out with just one or two) making the day-after-indulgence pain feel just a touch more uncomfortable. 

I went in search of some lunch today in my hazy post-party state, and though my semi-rotted tummy is calling out for burgers and fries or anything dunked in grease, I know what I really need is clean food. So when I opened the fridge and found leftover salad from the other night, I knew it would make my mouth just as happy as my stomach. 

Fattoush is a Lebanese salad traditionally containing high-water-content summer vegetables (which makes it especially appealing in this warm weather), a whack-load of fresh herbs, toasted pita bread and za’atar. It’s as refreshing, crisp and cool as a salad can get. The use of Za’atar makes this salad especially bright. If you’ve never heard of it, or worse yet, tried it, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful this spice blend is with salad, sprinkled on pita bread or over fresh sliced tomatoes, or even on roasted root vegetables. The uses are endless. Seriously. Endless. Everything can be made better with a little sprinkle. 

Fattoush Salad with Zaatar Baked Pita Crisps
adapted from My New Roots

It’s important to know that the herbs in this salad are not simply for garnish. They are vital to the salads flavour and texture the way lettuce would be so the quantities are quite large. 

2 red bell peppers
2 medium cucumbers, with skin
3 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large red onion, thinly sliced with a mandolin
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped
1 cup chopped mint, rough chopped
4 tbsp za’atar, recipe follows

Cut the peppers and cucumbers into bite sized chunks and toss with the rest of the ingredients in a large salad bowl.  

Fattoush Dressing
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon 
1 tsp. agave nectar
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
a couple pinches of sea salt
a pinch of black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. 

Zaatar Baked Pita Crisps
5 large Lebanese-style pitas
2 tbsp zaatar
olive oil

Preheat oven to 325. 
Tear or cut pitas into chip-sized pieces. Brush each chip with olive oil and sprinkle with zaatar spice. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.  

When you’re ready to eat, throw half the dressing into the salad and toss. Add more until desired sauciness is achieved. Spoon onto plates and crumble pita crisps over the salad. 

makes about 1 cup 

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup sumac
4 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp dried oregano

Stir all ingredients and pour into a glass jar. Store in a cool dark place.