Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The other day we found fattoush.  R and I went to Cicchetti to celebrate my birthday and the waitress suggested the fattoush salad.  It was delicious - very light and refreshing.  When we got home we looked for some recipes and found about a hundred different variations.  Basically, raw vegetables make the base for the salad with bits of toasted or fried pita served on top.  I started with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's version from, Jerusalem, and then changed it up slightly to try to make it closer to the one we had at dinner. The dressing for this salad is amazing, it's so fresh and clean -  I don't even miss the cheese!  And the best part - the kids like it.  They get a pita taco, basically a quarter of a pita folded over the salad.  They even eat the lettuce!

for the Greek yogurt sauce:

1 cup Greek yogurt
34 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

Whisk the yogurt and milk in a bowl and leave in the fridge until bubbles form on the surface.  Let it sit for at least 3 hours or up to a day. 

for the dressing:

1 tablespoon dried mint 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 
14 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon cider or white wine vinegar 
12 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste 
1 tablespoon sumac

Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized mason jar.  Shake until well combined.  

*Note: any extra dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several days

for the salad:

3 large tomatoes, diced 
4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
12-1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
12 red (or orange) bell pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced 
1 tablespoon fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped 
12 head of romaine
sumac to garnish

Cook the pita breads.  When cool enough to handle cut them into bite sized pieces and set aside. Assemble the salad and add the dressing to taste.

Divide the pita pieces among 6 plates.  Drizzle the yogurt sauce on top of the bread.  Place the salad on top of the pita and garnish with sumac.  Enjoy!

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's, Jerusalem

Friday, April 4, 2014

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

The first time I had this soup I wasn't a huge fan, but it was easy and healthy so I made it again.  The second time around I really enjoyed it - it is delicious and very clean tasting.  We serve it with a big salad and some naan or pita bread.


3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart vegetable stock
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro.

In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot. Add the onion and garlic.  Sauté until golden - about 4 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.

Add stock, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Using an immersion blender, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.

Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

Serves 4

From the New York Times , 01/09/2008