Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Radish Fattoush Salad


[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

If fattoush salad is not in your regular culinary vocabulary, add it now.

This Mediterranean bread salad is crunchy, fresh, colorful, and, like most good Mediterranean foods, stunningly good in its simplicity. While fattoush almost always has cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and pita, there are tons of variations out there that can be easily guided by what's in your fridge.

As I happened to have a bunch of radishes in my crisper, I added both thinly sliced bulbs and radish greens into my salad, adding a prominent layer of sweetness and crunch.

This fattoush is lunchbox-friendly in that it gives you ample time to properly drain both your yogurt dressing and your vegetables. The tomatoes and cucumbers give off considerable liquid that you don't want sogging up your salad, and Greek yogurt is more flavorful when the liquid comes from olive oil and lemon juice instead of the watery excess on top. I let both components drain in the fridge overnight, and then mixed them altogether before leaving for work.

By lunchtime, flavors had melded, vegetables were still as vibrant, and the harissa-laced toasted pita chips had softened in the dressing, but retained its crunch.