When the summer heat is on–and it’s on all over the country–we can only think about no-cook recipes. Dishes that come together by merely chopping, blending or tossing. Because who wants to create more heat in the kitchen? Not me. Maybe this is where the saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” came from?
But even when it is too hot to cook, we still have to eat. And when done correctly, this salad can be a meal everyone will appreciate.
One of my former bosses was Lebanese and she and her mother were phenomenal cooks. And when I say phenomenal, I mean the best Lebanese food I have ever had. Light and fresh, everything was beyond flavorful and made with tons of love. I recall her holiday spreads of assorted Lebanese dishes. One always stood out for me. Fattoush. In fact, she knew I loved this salad so much, she would often bring a huge bowl of it to share with me for lunch.
Crispy pita chips are the croutons along with chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion. Lemon juice and red wine vinegar mingle with olive oil to dress the ingredients for a perky, crunchy and healthy salad that pops and satisfies. For a bit more heft, feel free to add crispy Romaine and I add feta for a tang and a few Kalamata olives for the brine. Cold shrimp or grilled chicken are also great toppers.
A Perfect Cold Summer Meal
This super basic salad hits every note. And, while not required, a sprinkle of sumac lights this summer salad on fire–in a good way. You will want to enjoy this salad all summer long.
Make a batch for the next pool party. Or take it to the next potluck and watch everyone fall in love with the textures and flavors of this dish that took you less than 10 minutes to make. Serve with falafel, hummus and pita bread for a Mediterranean feast alongside a bowl of assorted olives and everyone will treasure this light and healthy dinner.
Sometimes it is about the simplicity of a dish that makes it shine. Oh, how this dish shines!
Crispy and cold, this salad is so easy and everyone loves how colorful and flavorful it is. The crunchy pita chips are the coup de grace and the fact that this dish is healthy makes it even more special. Add shrimp or grilled chicken to make it appeal to the men in your life.
- 2 cucumbers, chopped if they have big seeds, remove the seeds
- 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, diced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup toasted pita chips, lightly crushed
- 4 oz feta. crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac, as garnish optional, but recommended
In a bowl, add the cucumbers, tomatoes and red onion and squeeze the lemon over the top.
Stir to combine and continue adding the salt, pepper, parsley, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Toss again to coat all of the ingredients.
Add in the pita crisps and feta and stir well.
If you need to make this in advance, don't add the pita crisps and feta until ready to serve.
When plated, sprinkle sumac over the top for a burst of flavor.
While the salad lasts in the fridge, it's never quite as good as it is the day you make it. And keep in mind that any leftover pita chips will get soggy.