There’s a restaurant here in Phoenix I go to almost once a week, usually on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, when I want something fast, fresh, and decidedly NOT fussy. The food is good and the atmosphere is laid back, which is good because I often go in my workout clothes complete with a makeup-free face, ponytail, and headband. They don’t judge. They bring out the yummy hummus, shawarma pitas, and big healthy salads with a smile. It never gets old.
Last weekend, I didn’t go. Because I made this. And it tasted almost exactly like their salad. I didn’t mean for it to, and I really didn’t think about it when I picked out the recipe. It just kind of happened. And I was okay with it because, nobody at home judges my workout ponytail, either.
adapted from Elly Says Opa!
For the chicken:
1/4 c. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp. za’atar
1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the dressing:
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sumac
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1/4 c. good quality extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
1/2 large head of romaine (or 1 small head), chopped
1 small cucumber (unpeeled), diced
1/3 c. grape tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 c. chopped parsley
4 radishes, sliced into half moons
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 TBSP chopped mint
1/4 c. baked whole-wheat pita chips, store bought or homemade (see Elly’s instructions)
1. Marinate the chicken by placing all ingredients in a sealed container. Shake to coat chicken to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes, but no more than two hours.
2. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a jar. Seal and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
3. When chicken is ready, either grill or cook, in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, until cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side. Let rest three minutes, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
4. Meanwhile, prepare salad components, placing each one (except the pita chips) in a large bowl. Just before serving, toss with desired amount of dressing. Divide salad mixture among two bowls. Top with pita chips and chicken. Serve immediately.