Mediterranean Pitta Bread and Shepherd’s Salad

Pitta bread is one of the traditional breads that accompanies the classic Mediterranean Mazza table in North African, Turkish and Greek cuisines. Something like the Nordic ‘Smörgåsbord’, the table bears a wide variety of meze dishes, vegetable stews, fresh salads, hummus and olives.
The foundation of the Mediterranean diet is the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFA’s for short which are found in extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil. These alone are thought to reduce the risk of inflammation, heart disease, cancer and insulin resistance.
The Shepherd’s salad is one of the most refreshing of Mediterranean salads. Fresh fruit and vegetables contributing to its vibrant energy. Add a slice of crumbly feta cheese and a drizzle of silky olive oil and tart lemon juice and it delivers a phenomenal array of antioxidants to boost your immune system.
Credits: Ceri, Zenxin master chef

Key facts:

(Pitta Bread)

  • Preparation: 10 + 30 + 10 + 60 + 20 mins
  • Cooking: 20 mins
  • Total: 150 mins
  • Serves: 6-8

(Shepherd’s Salad)

  • Preparation: 15 mins
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

(Pitta Bread)

  • 1 tbsp active dried Baker’s yeast
  • 1 tsp organic brown sugar
  • ½ cup warm filtered water
  • 1 cup organic unbleached flour
  • 1 ¼ cups warm filtered water
  • 3 cups organic unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp French sea salt

(Shepherd’s Salad)

  • ~400g organic Japanese cucumber
  • ~400g organic tomatoes-on-the vine
  • ~200g organic green capsicum
  • ~100g organic red onion
  • ~100g organic sheep’s feta cheese
  • 1 small bunch of fresh organic flat leaf parsley
  • 1 head of organic Romaine lettuce
  • 3 tbsp freshly pressed organic lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp ‘Simply Natural’ Spanish organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh organic mint
  • 1 tbsp fresh organic dill
  • ½ tsp sumac powder
  • A handful of organic black olives
  • ½ tsp ‘Simply Natural’ red chilli flakes if desired
  • Freshly ‘Simply Natural’ grated organic black pepper
  • A pinch of ‘Simply Natural’ French sea salt

Method:

(Pitta Bread)

  1. In a large bowl mix yeast, sugar and ½ cup water. Cover and leave to stand for 10 mins.
  2. Yeast should be frothy. Add in 1 cup of flour, mix well, cover and leave for 30 mins.
  3. Add salt + remaining warm water to the sponge + 3 cups flour. Combine completely.
  4. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky and kneed for a further 10 mins.
  5. Oil bowl, replace dough, cover and leave to rest for an hour or until it doubles in size.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 220°C and place baking stone or tray in the middle of the oven.
  7. Turn dough onto a floured board and roll into a cylinder, into 6-8 equal portions.
  8. Take each piece and flatten into rough circles with the heel of your palm.
  9. Cover and leave to rest for another 20 mins.
  10. Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until they turn golden brown.

(Shepherd’s Salad)

  1. Wash and dice cucumber, tomatoes and capsicum.
  2. Peel and dice the red onion and marinate using 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  3. Wash and spin dry the lettuce and tear into bite size pieces.
  4. Wash all the fresh herbs, spin dry and chop finely.
  5. Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  6. Whisk sumac and remaining lemon juice with olive oil and pour over salad.
  7.  Add olives and crumble feta cheese over the salad.
  8. Add seasoning as desired and serve with warm pitta bread.

The ingredients!

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