Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Green Bean, Shell Bean, and Sweet Onion Fatoush

I'd never even heard of Fatoush, but my friend Jenn gave me a recipe.  It's basically the Lebanese version of Panzanella, or bread salad.  It calls for pita, feta, mint and parsley, and a lemon vinaigrette - all classic Middle Eastern/Mediterranean flavors (food cultures do all fade into each other, don't they?).

This salad would be so perfect as a side dish at a Greek barbecue and it makes a perfect light, flavorful lunch.  It also works just fine for dinner on a hot summer night.

Green Bean, Shell Bean, and Sweet Onion Fatoush

2 lemons, 1 zested and both juiced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
coarse salt
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing (I actually use less olive oil and more lemon juice)
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup shelled fresh shell beans, such as cranberry or lima
3 rounds (6-inch) pita
1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Make vinaigrette with lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil.  Let stand while you prepare the other ingredients, tossing out the garlic right before you pour over the salad.
2. Blanch the green beans (1 minute).
3. Blanch the shell beans (takes longer than the green beans depending on your beans, about 18-20 minutes)
4. Grill or toast the pita with oil, salt, and pepper. Cut into squares.
5. Toss all ingredients together and serve.

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