Moving takes a lot of energy. We’re only moving two blocks away, and it feels like our entire life is uprooted as we try to plan the house renovation and moving process. In a few weeks it will all be over (well, at least we’ll be moved), but the process seems to dominate most of our time as of late. We can only imagine moving across the country (California) like our friend Erin, or across the world (the Philippines!) like our friends Lindsay and Bjork.
In the midst of it all, we’re enjoying the summer, in particular its bounty of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers that are now all over the markets and in our garden.
Here’s a meal we made for Alex’s brother and his family as they were in town for a visit, sweet little niece and nephew in tow. This one went over well for the entire crowd, even a 3-year-old. It’s simple to prepare; it does take a few minutes to chop up the veggies and stir together the sauce, but both components can easily be made in advance as well if you’re entertaining.
It’s also a great lunch option, for those of you looking for something a little more inventive than the typical brown bag. Just make sure to take the proper precautions when creating your sandwich — since the vegetables create some moisture as they marinate, it’s important to remove the extra “juice” before placing it into your sandwich so the pita doesn’t get soggy. We call for using a slotted spoon to move the vegetables to the pita, then topping with the yogurt sauce.
What are your favorite simple summertime meals?
Note: The vegetable mixture accumulates moisture as it sits, so make sure to use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the sandwich to avoid a soggy pita.
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Splash white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 4 8-inch diameter whole wheat pita breads, halved (or make your own)
- Peel the cucumber and dice it. Thinly slice the onion. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Dice the green pepper. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place all vegetables in a bowl or an airtight container (if making in advance).
- To the bowl with the vegetables, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup feta cheese. Taste, and adjust flavors if desired. This mixture can marinate for a bit if desired, or serve immediately.
- For the yogurt sauce, if using fresh dill, chop enough for 1 tablespoon. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), a splash white wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.
- Using slotted spoon to remove any extra liquid, transfer the salad mixture to the pita bread halves. Serve with yogurt sauce.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.