GRILLED PITA BREAD SALAD

Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Serves 4 to 6

4 pita breads
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 luscious, ripe red tomato, cut into 1/2 inch dice, with its juices
1 pomegranate, broken into seeds with its juices (see Notes)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
8 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed, spun dry, and thinly sliced crosswise
3 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh spearmint or other mint
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or more to taste
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

1. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

2. When ready to cook, lightly brush the pitas with a little of the olive oil. Place the pitas on the hot grate and grill until toasted and browned on both sides, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled pitas to a platter and let cool. The recipe can be prepared to this stage up to 24 hours ahead.

3. Not more than 20 minutes before serving, rub the inside of a nonreactive salad or mixing bowl with the cut garlic. Rub the grilled pitas with the cut garlic. Break or tear the pitas into bite-size pieces and place in the bowl. Add the tomato, pomegranate, cucumber, bell peppers, lettuce, scallions, parsley, mint, lemon juice, vinegar, and the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or vinegar as necessary; the salad should be highly seasoned. Serve the salad at once.

Notes:

-To remove the seeds from a pomegranate, cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Using your fingers, break the halves into sections, then remove the individual seeds. Work over a bowl to catch the juices.
-To seed a cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a melon baller or spoon.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort