Wednesday, December 27, 2017


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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

No comments: