My friend Ann put out a stunning array of food for our book club last month. But it was the salad — oh, the colorful salad! — that caught my attention first. "My kids devour this salad," the mother of two preteen boys said. Really? A salad with so many vegetables and kids gobble it down?
Turns out, the trick is the Toasted Pita Chips. Now I may be a grown-up but here, I'm with the kids. The pita chips really do add something special: without them, this salad would be just some chopped vegetables tossed in Greek salad dressing. If you like Panzanella, the Italian bread salad, you'll love this one too.
BOOK CLUBS & READING GROUPS Speaking of book clubs, have you seen my reading group's book list? We've been reading together since 1994!
GREEK BREAD SALAD with TOASTED PITA CHIPS
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 8 cups (easily halved)
TOASTED PITA CHIPS
2 large pitas
2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
4 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped small
1 red pepper, cored and chopped small
1 orange or yellow pepper, cored and chopped small
3 green onions, white and green parts both, chopped
1/2 an English cucumber, chopped small
Homemade Greek Salad Dressing or commercial Greek salad dressing
TOASTED PITA CHIPS Set the oven to 350F. Cut the pitas into squares, separating the two sides. Drop onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes until crisp, tossing after 10 minutes and every 5 minutes until done. Can be made in advance, they stay crisp!
SALAD Chop and combine the vegetables in a large bowl. Can be done in advance.
TO SERVE Just before serving, toss with Greek salad dressing. Stir in the Toasted Pita Chips and serve.
STORE-BOUGHT DRESSING For convenience, Ann uses a commercial salad dressing. If I were doing this, I'd thin it a bit with a little milk so it wouldn't be so thick and gloppy and would go further.
FLAT BREAD? The first time I made this salad, I toasted some flat bread that was on hand. NOT as good! (Didn't I say the pita chips are special?) Now that I know how good the pita chips taste, next time I'll bake extra to keep on hand for adding to other salads, just a few at a time.
CELERY IS IMPORTANT The proportion of celery in this salad seems important to the overall 'crunch' of this salad. When I used just two ribs of celery, it wasn't enough.
~ Summer Orzo with Radicchio ~
~ Cowboy Coleslaw ~
~ Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Alice Waters’ Coleslaw ~
~ Power Food Broccoli Salad ~
~ Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs ~
~ more Favorite Summer Salad Recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column