Dooymaaj is a nostalgic Iranian childhood snack of dried, days-old bread — it’s an effort to not waste a single crumb — combined with fresh herbs, cheese and walnuts. The ingredients are bound with a splash of milk and a drizzle of butter, then rolled into balls and enjoyed as an afternoon treat. This refreshing, zesty, herb-filled bread salad is an homage to the beloved snack. Use any flatbread you like, but crisp lavash bread holds up particularly well against the creamy and tangy buttermilk dressing. This is hearty enough to be served on its own as a light meal or alongside grilled chicken or fish, such as chicken or salmon kababs.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2pieces lavash bread (8 1/2-by-11 1/2-inches each)
- 3loosely packed cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (from 1 bunch), coarsely chopped
- 2cups loosely packed mint leaves (from 1 small bunch), coarsely chopped
- 1 ¼cups loosely packed Persian, lemon or other basil, coarsely chopped
- 2scallions, thinly sliced
- ½cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)
- ½cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
- 2tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2tablespoons dried mint
- 1teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more if needed
- ¾teaspoon black pepper, plus more if needed
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1cup buttermilk
Step 1Prepare the bread for the salad: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the bread directly on the rack and toast until crisp, about 3 minutes. Don’t let it take on color or burn. Let cool completely, then break into 2-inch pieces. It’s better if the pieces aren’t uniform. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Step 2While the bread toasts and cools, make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, dried mint, salt and pepper until the salt is dissolved. Drizzle in the olive oil and add the buttermilk, whisking well to combine. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Step 3Finish the salad: Place the parsley, mint, basil, scallions, feta and walnuts in a large bowl. Scatter the toasts on top. Add three-quarters of the dressing and gently toss to combine. The salad should be generously and evenly dressed. If needed, add the remaining dressing, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve right away so the lavash stays crisp.