Fattoush is the Middle Eastern answer to panzanella bread salad. Crispy pita; grilled, tender zucchini; velvety cheese; earthy lentils; lively herbs; and a vibrant tomato dressing come together in a composed salad that’s jumpy with attention grabbers. If halloumi is not available, some torn fresh mozzarella would be a good stand-in (just don’t try grilling it). Those who are watching their sodium intake can make the salad without olives.
In medium saucepan, place lentils and 3 cups (750 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a light simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.
Build a medium-hot fire in charcoal grill, or heat gas grill to medium and grease grill grates.
Upend halloumi and slice lengthwise into 2 slabs. Brush halloumi and zucchini with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil. Grill cheese until crispy in a few spots, about 3 minutes per side. When cool enough to handle, slice halloumi into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes. Grill zucchini until tender and darkened in a few spots, about 4 minutes per side.
When cool enough to handle, slice zucchini into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces.
Mix za’atar with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. Spread on tops of pitas. Grill pitas until golden and crispy, about 1 minute per side. Be careful not to burn pitas. When cool enough to handle, break pitas into 2 in (5 cm) pieces.
Slice tomato in half and grate cut sides down to the skin with the large holes of a box grater. Discard skin and whisk grated tomato with remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, vinegar, shallot, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
Cut romaine into 1 1/2 in (3.75 cm) thick rounds.
Place rounds on serving plates and top with lentils, zucchini, mint, parsley, radish, green onion, olives (if using), halloumi, and toasted pita pieces. Drizzle Tomato Vinaigrette overtop.
Say cheese: Halloumi is a remarkable salty cheese, as it doesn’t melt when sent to the flames. On the grill, the outside gets crispy and the inside turns tender. It’s the ultimate grilled cheese. Find blocks in Middle Eastern grocers and an increasing number of supermarkets.
Ever thought about making burgers as an appetizer or as a potluck meal for friends and family? Try making your favourite burger into bite-sized portions. They might be small in size, but they won’t be small in flavour. These burgers also pair well with a Greek salad for a delicious mid-week lunch or dinner. Fresh is best Squeeze fresh lemon on patties while cooking to give them the fresh zing of citrus.
What worldwide vacation is complete without a stop in Italy? Dad won’t miss the meat in this flavourful mushroom alternative complete with Italian spices and a zesty vegetable tapenade. Portobellos have a uniquely “meaty” texture and act as a sponge to lock in loads of flavour. This meaty plant-based burger is sure to become a favourite—even with any meat-lovers in your life. Custom-made! Don’t be afraid to customize your burger buns to fit your patties. If your bun’s too big, trim off excess and save the trimmed bits of bread, but don’t discard. Instead, cut into small cubes; drizzle with some olive oil, sea salt, and seasonings of choice; bake at 350 F (180 C) for 10 to 15 minutes, and you’ll have delicious homemade croutons for use in soups and salads throughout the week.
Next stop, Asia! This shrimp burger combines classic Asian flavours with unique toppings for rich umami flavour with the saltiness of the ocean. Whether served on a bun or over rice in a more traditional Asian-style meal, try some unique miso yogurt or wasabi mayo dressing for a fabulous flavour bomb. Keep those burgers juicy Place raw patties on a plate or tray, and cover and freeze or refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes to keep them together and to lock in moisture.
While on your burger journey, visit Jamaica, where you’ll find the spicy jerk flavours native to this beautiful island. Maple syrup adds a unique, sticky sweetness, while fresh lime juice highlights the fresh, tangy flavours of the Caribbean. Try making your own jerk seasoning or purchase store-bought for an easy shortcut.