Lemon-Tahini Kale Salad

I still remember the first time I had fattoush salad.  It was a 2003 featured recipe in Vegetarian Times.  The chewy and crisp pita, the crunch of fresh cucumbers, and the lip puckering goodness of lemon and sumac, it was everything a salad should be.  Light, refreshing and yet, hearty at the same time. 

I often find myself with a few stray pitas.  Without a plan, they stick around until they get rock hard, or become covered in mold like a science experiment.  This salad makes sure neither fate has to come to pass, and provides a healthy, flavorful side or main course.  And the best part, it doesn't matter if the pitas are stale!

While this salad takes inspiration from fattoush salad, it is a bit of a departure.  Lacinato kale and pistachios add new dimension.  For a variation, add some heirloom tomatoes and/or kalamata olives.  This salad is best eaten right away, while the pitas are still warm and crisped, and create a contrast to the cool, crunchy vegetables.  Delicious!

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Lemon-Tahini Kale Salad

3 whole wheat pitas, cut into bite-size pieces 

⅓ cup tahini

¼ cup lemon juice (+ more to adjust the taste, if you like lots of lemon!)

½ tsp garlic powder

6 cups kale, chopped and massaged 

½ red bell pepper, chopped

½ English cucumber, chopped

6 radishes, chopped

1 scallion, chopped

½ cup pistachios, shelled 

¼ cup mint leaves

½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp sumac

Salt

Pita Chips

1. Turn oven on BROIL, and place rack in the middle of the oven.  Toss pita pieces in 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Spread out on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 2-3 minutes.  Watch very closely to make sure they don't burn.

2. Add tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic powder to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.  If it gets too thick, add some water until it's the consistency that you prefer.  Add everything to the bowl (including the toasted pitas!) and toss.  Taste and adjust seasonings (I usually add additional lemon juice, salt and sumac).  Serve right away.

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