SALAD THE LAST! We bring you the last installment of this year-long blog project, "52 Weeks of Mason Jar Salads." For this final post, I decided to adapt the classic middle-eastern bread salad, adding less common ingredients (chickpeas, feta,) to make the salads more filling, but maintaining the flavors of the original - sumac, olive oil, fresh veggies, herbs, and greens. Although many of these ingredients are well out of season for most of us in the northern hemisphere, a boost of fresh veggies is just what I need to follow rich holiday foods and too many cookies this time of year.
This blog series has been a great challenge for Rob and I - we've learned how to work well together, some new skills surrounding food styling and photography, how to eat more veggies on a daily basis, and how to think outside the box when we make a "salad." We've found some new favorites, and hope you have, too! Thank you for joining us for "52 Weeks of Mason Jar Salads!"
YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads
- 2 pita, split and roughly torn
- olive oil spray
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp ground sumac
- 2 tsp warm water
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp dried mint
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- 4 oz feta, crumbled
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 English cucumbers, halved and sliced
- 4 green onions, green tops sliced on the bias
- 1/2 c loosely-packed Italian parsley leaves, roughly torn
- 1/2 c loosely-packed mint leaves, roughly torn
- 2-3 hearts romaine, shredded
- Make the pita chips: preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Scatter the pita pieces on a baking sheet, spray with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake the pita chips for 5-10 minutes, or until evenly dried and golden brown. Cool.
- Make the sumac vinaigrette: combine the sumac and warm water in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container, and allow to soak for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, garlic, vinegar, mint, and olive oil to the jar; puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender. (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing in a standard blender or mini food processor.)
- Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between each of 4 tall quart-sized containers. Layer the chickpeas, feta, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, mint, and romaine in the jars. Divide the pita chips evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top baggies, one for each salad. Refrigerate until serving.
- Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl. Top with pita chips.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute store-bought balsamic vinaigrette, canned chickpeas, and store-bought pita chips for the homemade dressing, home-cooked chickpeas, and homemade pita chips.
SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian and nut-free as-is. For a vegan salad, omit the feta and increase the amount of chickpeas to 4 cups, or use your favorite vegan feta. For a gluten-free salad, substitute your favorite gluten-free bread or flatbread for the pita; you may need to adjust the baking time on your chips/croutons.
Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.