Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fattoush

Lately, I've been craving lighter meals at home, more vegetables, but not necessarily mixed greens/salad. I've been wanting to eat less, and lighter, after the excesses of Easter, the wedding, and the honeymoon.

I also recently finally catalogued 6 months of recipes clipped from the magazines to which we subscribe and in the process of organizing my recipe clippings binders, I found myself perusing and getting lost in the pretty photos and delicious sounding dishes. I started thinking, oh yes, that sounds so good, no wonder I cut it out, why haven't we tried it, and why have I forgotten about it? So I made a list of recipes I'd like to try in the next few months. I'm not sure how many we'll actually try, but I am looking to 'spice up' our meal repertoire (not literally spice it up, though!).

One recipe I rediscovered is Grilled Zucchini and Bell Pepper Fattoush from Bon Appetit's July 2007 issue. If you read the recipe you can't help but wonder - is a recipe really necessary for this dish and why the heck didn't I think of this on my own? It's simple. It's quick. It's filling but not heavy. It's filled with yummy veggies. The hardest part of this recipe? Grilling the zucchini, red peppers, and pita. The easiest part? Chopping up the feta, cucumber, tomatoes, kalamatas, mint, and cilantro. Sure, chopping can take a bit of time, but... Even the dressing is simple: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp cumin, salt & pepper. Cumin is a staple in our pantry. Sumac is not a staple in our pantry; it is an optional ingredient and SP checked at Giant Eagle Market District but they didn't have it so I suppose if we really want it for future fattoush, a trip to Penzey's in the Strip is necessary.Fresh mint and cilantro... well, it just so happens we just bought and planted some mint this past weekend plus we are getting some fresh mint in this week's CSA along with more fresh cilantro (we had some leftover from a week or two ago).

Since we wanted to have 2-3 meals from this dish, but we didn't want it to get soggy/limp, we didn't make the whole recipe. Here's what we did:

We grilled 2 lbs zucchini and all 6 red peppers. We used half the zucchini and 2 red peppers on Sunday and saved the rest for future meals. We have a package of pitas and will grill 2 of them right before each meal. We made the dressing in a bottle and drizzled on as much as looked good to us, knowing that we shouldn't be using the whole 3/4 cup of dressing. We used grape tomatoes, English seedless cucumbers, and our huge jar of kalamatas from Costco. I just guessed on the amounts. Our mint plant is still young so we were limited on our mint amount. We'll have more mint on Tuesday (the fattoush could have used more mint). I'm not a huge cilantro fan, but I chopped what was left of our CSA cilantro, sprinkled maybe 1 tablespoon in the salad, and then SP added the rest to his plate since he loves cilantro.

We didn't halve our pitas horizontally for a thin round. So our pitas (we used 2) were thicker but we liked it that way - the pita wedges absorbed the dressing and tasted very good.The fattoush was very tasty and filling. This is definitely going into the 'summer meal rotation.'

For dessert, I had a cannoli from Giant Eagle.

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