Salads aren’t just wilted leafy greens and tired, limp carrot sticks. Stunningly diverse once you peel back that initial concept, it’s difficult to pin down one concise definition of the concept to encompass all of the culinary possibilities. Salads are most frequently thought of as chilled dishes, but they can also be served warm. Though generally the healthier option on the table, some salads can be real gut bombs. Heck, if you can call something with cookies in it a “salad,” then you, too, can be anything you set your mind to.
Today, while I have less lofty aspirations in mind, the results are no less impressive. Simultaneously inspired by the glorious fresh tomatoes and cucumbers at the farmers market and exhausted by the idea of the labor of real cooking, salads are given high priority in my daily diet on hot summer days. All I want is something fresh and satisfying I can cobble together out of the contents of my fridge with an absolute minimal commitment to genuine cooking. Toasting bread, sure, I can handle that, but all the rest feels like too much work after a full shift and long commute.
Unsurprisingly, this has led to some truly questionable salads. Nothing is off limits; cooked grains, nuts, fruit, vegetables are all fair game of course, but what about that loaf of bread sitting on the counter, growing more stale by the hour? Well, why not? There’s a long tradition of thrifty Italians inventing imaginative twists on panzanella, so that only stretches the imagination for the uninitiated. Expanding on that carb-based formula, consider the pita and all it does for fattoush over in the middle east. Thus, it stands to reason, naan should be a perfectly acceptable ingredient in this formula as well, right?
Garlic naan, a thing of beauty in and of itself, seems almost too good to sacrifice to the salad bowl. Chewy, tender slabs of gluten rich oil and pungent minced garlic, is a sadly rare treat to find in ready-made vegan form. Typically prepared with yogurt and or ghee (butter,) it’s one of the few Indian staples firmly off limits for the lactose intolerant among us. Now that California Lavash has expanded its range to include a completely dairy-free rendition, nothing is out of bounds. I’m tempted to bring a package with me even when eating out at top Indian restaurants, but resist the urge by doubling down on my naan consumption at home instead.
It was only a matter of time before I found a way to shovel this glorious flatbread into my mouth by the forkful. Lightly toasting it to a crisp exterior and bestowing it with a golden curry dressing, this is a combination I could eat on repeat all summer long, and well beyond. Feel free to expand upon the vegetable inclusions based on what you have available, or go crazy with your own creative add-ins. As we’ve established, a salad is anything you want it to be, if you just believe in it.
Curried Naan Panzanella
Lightly toasting chewy naan bread to a crisp exterior and bestowing it with a golden
curry dressing, this combination is unbeatable for summertime savoring, and well beyond. Feel free to expand upon the vegetable inclusions based on what you have available, or go crazy with your own creative add-ins.
- 1/2 Pound (1 Pint) Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, Halved
- 1/2 English Cucumber, Quartered and Sliced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, Divided
- 5 – 6 Ounces (1 Pieces) Garlic Naan Bread, Cut into 1-Inch Squares
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
- 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Tahini
- 1 Teaspoon Madras Curry Powder
- 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Cooked Chickpeas
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
- Begin by tossing the sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with half of the
salt. Set aside for about 15 minutes to draw out some of the excess
liquid. Drain the extra water they’ve given off before proceeding.
- Meanwhile, combine the sliced naan with 1/2 tablespoon of oil and
spread the pieces out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Run under the
broiler in your oven set to high for 10 – 15 minutes, until toasted
golden brown and crisp.
- Simply whisk together the remaining oil, lime juice, tahini, curry
powder, black pepper, and remaining salt to create the dressing. Toss
everything into a large bowl, including the drained vegetables, toasted
bread, dressing, chickpeas, and cilantro, and mix well to combine. Serve
immediately; this salad doesn’t keep well once dressed as the naan will
begin to get soggy.
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 599mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g
10 thoughts on “Naan-Sense”
yummmm – good thinking
I just returned from two weeks in South India and was thrilled to discover that most naan there is not made with yogurt or dairy in the dough, and you can easily request that restaurants cook it with oil instead of butter or ghee! Needless to say, I took full advantage of this discovery and indulged in plenty of garlic naan. Looking forward to trying this recipe!
Oh that is a fabulous discovery! I wish more restaurants in the state would be so flexible and accommodating.
Nice :-) . Naan sense makes a lot of sense.
Truly satisfying salad! Nice to have various textures like crunchy cucumber, juicy tomato, soft chickpeas & crispy naan in a bowl.
Sounds delightful, delicious, and nutritious. :-)
Oh yum, this looks wonderful. Thanks! The blend of colors and flavors are perfect for summer. And I’m nervous about finding vegan naan locally, so this is awesome.
This looks lovely! Pinning!
Yay, thank you!
Good blog thank you so much and best of luck