Middle Eastern Bruschetta

January 20, 2020 by Nicole Collins

I'm usually behind the eight ball, but I've finally caught up on one of the latest trends.

Restaurant delivery services.

I know that ordering in is not a new concept at all. But, I've never been one for food delivery service. In fact, I've never been one to pay for anything that I can just do myself.

Every penny counts, right?

Even with all of these new services that allow you to think beyond the grease pit deli and order basically anything your heart could desire, it's just never something that I've been willing to fork out an extra few dollars to have. Until just recently, that is.

A couple of weeks ago, I had dinner with the bestie and her fam; and her dad brought carryout from a Persian restaurant close by. I'd never been there before, but the food was amazing. And the hummus...best hummus around in my opionion.

So one day I'm majorly craving this hummus, and I get sucked into the world of Door Dash. I bit the bullet because of “free delivery” (even though after fees and tip, I was out an extra $10), and now I'm obsessed.

There's just one problem. The menu items are in Persian with loosely translated descriptions in English. And I say loosely, because I think I'm ordering one thing and something completely different arrives in my delivery bag. This has happened to me both times that I've used the online delivery service. And dummy me googles what the menu item is/should be after I receive it instead of before I place my order.

So last weekend, I ordered this delicious sounding appetizer: Naan Panir Sabzi. The description was “a delightful mix of top grade bulgarian feta cheese, walnuts, parsley, radishes, and scallions served with homemade Persian flat bread.” I'm thinking this is some kind of incredible sounding dip/salad situation. But what arrived was a takeout container of large feta cubes, a whole bed of parsley, halved radishes, walnuts, green onion stalks, and half of a white onion arranged like a condiment platter.

Not what I was expecting at all.

When I googled Naan Panir Sabzi, it translated to bread, cheese, vegetables. As I read a little more, I learned that this Persian dish is intended to be a grab and go platter of these items that you pick at and eat with the bread. Like a Persian version of cheeseboard (just with more veggies than cheese).

Whomp Whomp Whomp...

So, I got to thinking about this box of veggies in front of me, and thought “why not make what I thought I had ordered?” And, that's just what I did!

So today, we're making Middle Eastern Bruschetta.

Now, I had a really hard time figuring out what to call this. And, I also understand that Bruschetta is the bread and not that tomato salad that you put on top of the traditional Italian appetizer. But, I think this little mix that I've whipped up absolutely has to be eaten with warmed naan (and a schmear of hummus for good measure), so we're going to go with it.

This salad comes together really easily. We're going to throw some diced radishes, minced parsley, minced scallions, chopped walnuts, and crumbled feta into a mixing bowl, and give them a toss. Then, give the mix a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a touch of salt and pepper. Give it another toss, and done!

Now, you might be tempted not to add the extra salt and pepper, because feta is naturally salty and radishes are naturally peppery. But, giving this salad a little hit of seasoning really helps to accentuate the natural qualities of these ingredients.

What we're left with is a crisp, crunchy, refreshing, earthy fresh salad that really is unique. Serving it with some warmed naan, pita, or flatbread is an absolute must. But if you have some hummus nearby, you have to add that to the equation. What a DELIGHTFUL bite!

I have a feeling that from now until forever, where there's hummus, there will be this salad. It's just the perfect pairing, and I'm pretty much craving it all the time now.

Alright, everyone! If you have any online restaurant menu fails too, I want to hear them. We can make lemonade out of lemons together.

For now, enjoy! And, let's eat!

Middle Eastern Bruschetta

Serves: about 2 cups Print

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup radishes, diced

  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped

  • ½ cup parsley, loosely packed, minced

  • 2 green onions, dark and light green parts only, minced

  • 2 oz feta, crumbled

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • naan, pita, or flatbread (warmed), for serving

  • hummus, for serving

Directions:

  1. To a small mixing bowl, add radishes, walnuts, parsley, green onions, and feta. Gently toss to combine. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently mix again to fully combine. Serve with warmed naan and hummus, if desired.

Recipe notes:

*This is best served fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for a day or two. The longer it sits, the softer the walnuts will get.

*You may be tempted not to add extra salt and pepper because of the salty feta and the peppery radishes, but the extra seasoning really helps to accentuate the natural flavors of these ingredients. So, don't skip it. Just start with a pinch and taste til you're happy with the flavor.

*Try to dice, mince, and crumble your ingredients to roughly that same size so that not one ingredient overpowers another.

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