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Toasted Pita & Bean Salad
“Beans add protein to this tasty riff on the classic Middle Eastern salad fattoush, made with lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, mint and pita bread.”
2 6-inch whole-wheat pita breads, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tip)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups cooked pinto beans, well drained and slightly warmed (see Tip)
1 cup diced plum tomatoes or ½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup sliced romaine lettuce
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1Preheat oven to 400°F.
2Spread pita pieces out on a large baking sheet. Bake until crisp and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool on the pan.
3Mash garlic and salt with the back of a chef's knife to form a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add lemon juice and ground cumin and whisk to blend. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking continually. Season with pepper.
4Place beans, tomatoes and cucumber in a serving bowl. Add the toasted pita, lettuce, feta, parsley, mint and the dressing; toss to mix. Season with more pepper. Serve immediately.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the dressing (Step 3) for up to 3 days.
Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Grind into a powder in a spice mill or blender.
How to Cook a Pot of Beans
1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours.
2. When you're ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1½ teaspoons salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the li
Makes about 6 cups.
Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.