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Turkey Fattoush Salad with Pita Croutons (Zahtar)

An aromatic blend of thyme, sesame seed, sumac and sea salt, zahtar is a favorite in North Africa and the Middle East. Here, the seasoning adds zesty herbal and earthy flavors, along with delicate sweet and salty notes, to this eastern Mediterranean salad known as fattoush. It traditionally includes coarsely chopped vegetables, a tart lemon dressing, and large croutons made of toasted or fried pita bread. We add cooked turkey to create a vibrant main-dish salad.

Ingredients:

  • 4 rounds whole-wheat pita bread
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
  • Salt, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp.
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. zahtar
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 head red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 lb. cooked turkey, shredded or cut into pieces
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped English cucumbers
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Using your fingers, separate each pita into 2 rounds. Brush one side of each pita round lightly with olive oil, using 1 Tbs. total, and sprinkle lightly with the paprika and salt. Arrange the rounds in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets and bake until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. When cool enough to handle, break each round into 4 or 5 pieces.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zahtar, pepper, the remaining 4 Tbs. olive oil and the 1/4 tsp. salt. Add the lettuce, turkey, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and the pita pieces to the bowl and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma.