Pita Chip Dinner Salad With Stone Fruit & Chickpeas

August 19, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger Prop Stylist: Suzie Myers Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog
  • Prep time 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is the time of year when I love having friends over for dinner. I tell someone to bring wine, someone else picks up a snack (cornichons, marinated mushrooms, a thick wedge of Parm), another handles dessert. Obviously I’ll take care of the main event, I, a control freak, say, and head to the farmers market. But how do you show off summer’s best on a budget? A peach and plum dinner salad. With crispy pita chips! And whole-lemon dressing! And chickpeas too, because I’m hungry, and always have dried or canned in the pantry. Sort of like fattoush, the Levantine salad of toasty flatbread and vegetables, but instead of tomatoes, we’re celebrating stone fruit. Because savory fruit salad should really be more of a thing.

You need a heaping cup of dry chickpeas ($0.60), which, when cooked, equates to about two cans. Bonus: You’ll have bean broth to store in the freezer and use whenever you need stock in future meals. (Could you just use canned beans? Of course! But they’ll cost more than double the dried.) Next up, pita chips—well, technically just pita ($1.35), which I happen to always keep in the freezer, torn into pieces, tossed with oil, salt, and pepper and baked until crispy. DIY pita chips are the way to go; store-bought will cost you more than double. When it comes to the dressing, lemon ($0.75) is headlining. You’ll chop one half (yep, pith and peel too) into smithereens—add a shallot ($0.30), garlic, sumac, and honey. The other half gets sliced into wedges for serving. If your peaches and plums ($4.50) are on the sour side, use more honey; if they’re sweeter, load up on tart sumac. To tie it all together, let’s talk crunch. Slice half a cucumber or half a bunch of radishes (or half of each, $1). Finish with half a bunch of parsley and a cup of mint leaves ($1).

That comes out to $9.35 total—and worth every penny. Like most salads, this one wouldn't object to being served alongside a statement cheese, say a briny hunk of feta or an oozing orb of burrata. But this is exactly the sort of thing to text a friend to bring. —Rebecca Firkser

Test Kitchen Notes

Nickel & Dine is a budget column by Rebecca Firkser, assigning editor at Food52 and hoarder of stone fruit. Each month, Rebecca will share an easy, flavor-packed recipe that feeds four (or just you, four times)—all for $10 or less. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup (heaping) dry chickpeas (or two 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
  • 3 (7- or 8-inch) pitas, split in half and torn into 1-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves and all stems, chopped (about 1 cup, packed)
  • 1 cup (packed) mint leaves
  • 2 ripe yellow peaches, sliced into wedges
  • 2 ripe red or black plums, sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 green cucumber, halved and sliced on the bias; or ½ bunch of red radishes, thinly sliced (or half the amount of each)
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving
  1. If using dry chickpeas, pick through and rinse the beans. Soak in water for 1 hour at room temperature (or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator). Drain, then place the beans in a medium saucepan filled an inch from the brim with very well-salted water and a hefty glug of olive oil. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Cook, checking every 40 minutes or so to replace water that evaporates, until the chickpeas are creamy all the way through, 1½ to 3 hours depending on the beans and soaking time. Let cool, then drain (save the stock in the freezer and use anywhere you’d use vegetable broth). If making in advance, store the chickpeas in their broth in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°F. Spread the torn pita on a sheet pan, drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Bake, tossing halfway through, until deeply golden brown and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Halve the shallot through the root end and peel; mince one of the halves and add it to a large bowl. Slice half of the lemon into rounds, remove the seeds, then very finely chop (yes, pith, peel and all!) and add to the bowl with the minced shallot. Slice the remaining lemon half into wedges and transfer to a little plate. Add the grated garlic, ½ teaspoon sumac, and 1 teaspoon honey. Whisk to combine, then whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Thinly slice the other half of the shallot. Finely chop the parsley stems and very roughly chop the leaves. Add the sliced shallot, all of the chopped parsley stems, all but a handful of the chopped parsley leaves, and all but a handful of the mint to the bowl with the dressing.
  5. Add the sliced peaches, plums, chickpeas, cucumbers and/or radishes, and all but a big handful of the pita chips to the bowl. Toss and season with more salt and pepper to taste. If you’d prefer it a tad sweeter, add the remaining teaspoon of honey; if you’d prefer it a tad more tart, add the remaining ½ teaspoon sumac.
  6. Transfer the salad to a large serving platter. Top with reserved pita chips, mint leaves, and parsley leaves. Sprinkle with flaky salt, more pepper, and olive oil. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges for juicing over the salad.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

7 Reviews

cptduzr September 4, 2022
I have a question about the chickpeas, is there a reason to put them in the fridge while soaking overnight?
Rebecca F. September 6, 2022
to avoid any fermentation during the soak, it should happen in a cool place, like the fridge; still, there's no reason they can't be done at room temperature if your kitchen isn't too hot, just make sure not to leave them for more than 12 hours.
cptduzr September 6, 2022
Thank you, I have never thought about them fermenting.
Melissa B. July 3, 2022
Delicious! Really great balance of flavors and textures
[email protected] September 17, 2021
How do I make it so the pita chips aren't all soggy?
Peony September 5, 2021
This was delicious! I left out the chickpeas and pita chips, but the dressing was so delicious and the pieces of lemon were a great touch and made it special. Highly recommend and will go in my rotation now.
Susan August 24, 2021
I love all of these Nickel & Dine recipes. Would love to see this as a weekly column!