Sēti Berbere Tomato & Bread Salad

Sēti Berbere Tomato & Bread Salad

Serves 4-6.

The sweet, hot, and pungent spices in our Sēti Berbere are an ideal complement to ripe summer tomatoes. This salad is inspired by traditional Ethiopian fitfit, a dish where torn pieces of injera bread luxuriate in a berbere-spiced tomato sauce, often served with eggs. Here, we adapt those flavors to make a salad of tomatoes, herbs, and spiced pita chips bathed in a bold Sēti Berbere dressing.

For the dressing:
½ cup sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Sēti Berbere
½ teaspoon grated garlic (about 1 clove)
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste 

For the salad:
½ red onion, cut in ¼-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1¼ teaspoons sea salt, divided2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 bag (6–8 ounces) lightly salted pita chips
2 teaspoons Sēti Berbere
2 pounds tomatoes, cut in ¾-inch chunks
3 tablespoons minced, mildly hot chile such as poblano or jalapeño
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, cut in ¼-inch dice (about 1½ cups)
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro 

For serving:
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered, optional
Cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons thinly sliced hot chile, poblano or jalapeño
¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds (not salted)
Sēti Berbere

Make the dressing  Put the dressing ingredients into a jar of a blender and whiz until creamy and emulsified. (Alternatively, put the ingredients into a jar and process with an immersion blender.)

Make the salad  Put the onions into a small bowl, cover with very cold water, add the lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon of the salt, and stir to mix. Set aside for about 10 minutes. Drain the onions, wrap them in a clean tea towel, and squeeze gently to remove excess water.

Open the bag of pita chips and sprinkle in the Sēti Berbere, then roll the top to close the bag. Hold the bag closed and shake vigorously to coat the chips with spices. Using both hands, squeeze the bag to lightly crush the chips into slightly smaller pieces.

Transfer the onions to a large mixing bowl and add the tomatoes, chilies, red bell pepper, herbs, and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt. Toss to combine. Just before serving add half the dressing and half the pita chips; toss to combine.

To serve  Scoop the salad into a serving bowl. Arrange the egg quarters around the edges. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves, chile slices, and sunflower seeds over the top of the salad. Mound more pita chips on top of the salad. Serve with the remaining dressing and more Sēti Berbere alongside.


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