Sr. Manager, Culinary Innovation
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc.
Although watermelon is available throughout the year, it’s most associated with summer eating. Del Taco chef Shereen Abutom notes that for a traditional fattoush or bread salad, the toasted pita chips are typically tossed into the salad and when eaten fresh they remain crisp, but as the salad sits, the pita bread soaks up the delicious dressing. This version is more like a chips and salsa eating experience.
Za’atar Pita Chips
3 pita breads (7-in. size)
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tsp. Jordanian green za’atar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. sumac
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (¼-inch dice) Persian cucumbers (about 4)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 cup parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (packed)
½ cup mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
3 oz. queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled
4 cups (½-inch cubes) watermelon (place watermelon in colander to drain juice and reserve for another use)
- For pita chips, place pita bread on sheet pan and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon za’atar evenly on top of each pita. Cut into wedges.
- Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and pita chips are crisp throughout; set aside.
- For dressing, in small bowl, mix lemon juice, sumac, salt and black pepper. Whisk in olive oil until mixture is fully combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.
- For fattoush, in large bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, mint and green onions. Add dressing and mix well. Add the watermelon and queso and mix gently until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and refrigerate mixture for about 1 hour.
- To serve, portion about 1 cup watermelon fattoush in small bowl and surround with za’atar pita chips.
Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board