Jesse Cool’s Greek Salad Sandwich
Enjoy this refreshing, organic and nutritious recipe from Chef Jesse Cool. There is little that compares with just-harvested shelling beans. When cooked, mashed with a little feta cheese and olive oil, and then warmed inside a pita pocket, they are heavenly. These sandwiches, accompanied by the simple tomato-cucumber salad, make a healthy meal with a wonderful range of Mediterranean flavors.
Greek Salad Sandwiches
2 cups freshly shelled beans, such as fava, lima or cranberry
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
4½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cucumber, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
6 large whole-wheat pitas (8 inches in diameter)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the beans. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft. Transfer the beans and cooking liquid to a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add the garlic, oregano, and about 3 tablespoons of the oil, or enough to give the beans the texture of a smooth pâté. Stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- In a medium serving bowl, combine the cucumber, onion, tomato, mint, parsley, lemon juice, and the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the pitas in half and open to form pockets. Spread an equal amount of the bean mixture in each pita pocket. Gently press together. Place on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes, or until warmed. Remove from the oven and cut into halves or quarters.
- Place the tomato-cucumber salad in the middle of a large platter. Surround with the bean sandwiches.
- If you don’t grow shelling beans and can’t find them at your grocery store, buy one of the excellent canned whole organic beans on the market. Simply mash the rinsed and drained beans with a bit of the canning liquid until they are the consistency of hummus.
- We recommend using local, organic and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible.
By Chef Jesse Cool