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Mid Week Cooking Inspiration: Warm Chickpeas with Toasted Pita

Hi! I'm Marielle, the person behind the photos you see on Individual Medley. I've started getting more into the habit of cooking at home, and we've been getting some great and approachable cook books in at the shop, so I couldn't resist but try my hand at this recipe out of Yogurt. Warm Chickpeas with Toasted Pita, Pine Nuts, and Yogurt Sauce- it was as delicious as it was beautiful, and my favorite part was that I got to experiment with using an ingredient I'd never much thought of before, yogurt!

This dish was pretty straight forward to make, and not too time consuming (double bonus). As I'm learning more with cooking, things can be substituted (I'll get to this in a bit) and adding little touches to any recipe is what makes it a bit more personal and more of your own. 

What you'll need to get cooking:

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 whole grain pita bread rounds (I used three, what can I say I love carbs)
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (whole fat is best!)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, graded or finely minced (I love garlic so I used 3-4)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced mint
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cups boiled chickpeas, or 3 cups canned chickpeas that have been drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup broth from the boiled chick peas, or a broth of your liking (I used vegetable broth, chicken would be good too!)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I will forever suggest Kerrygold butter, it's grassfed and I swear it makes all the difference.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon medium hot coarsely ground red pepper, such as Aleppo or Maras pepper, or hot paprika ( I used 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, cumin, cayenne, and paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Ground sumac, for garnish

I think the stress that comes with cooking is wondering where you'll be able to find everything that the recipe calls for, and that's where I say "screw it, let's improvise a little and see what happens". I wasn't able to find Aleppo or Maras pepper, but new the dish needed some warm heat to take it's place. By adding cayenne and paprika, I knew I'd add a bit of warmth and wanted to really round it out by adding cumin and some color with the turmeric (beyond my just absolute love for turmeric and my ongoing preaching about how everyone should be eating more of it- it's anti-inflammatory!) . I loved how the warm flavors gave it that bit of heat and rounded out well with the broth. And since you're the one making it, make it to your likin'. If it needs more of this or that, add it in!

 

And now, putting it all together:

Preheat your oven to 325F, and toast the pine nuts on a baking sheet until they're golden brown (about 5 minutes), shake them a bit to redistribute half way through. Put aside and let cool.

Using your hands, carefully tear each pita in half to get half-moons, each with a pocket. Gently open the half-moons and separate the pockets at the rounded edge so you have 8 half-moon pieces. The book calls to put the rounds under a preheated broiler or in a toaster oven, toast the pita on both sides until crisp. I ended up drizzling a little olive oil on my pieces (because, like turmeric, I can't get enough olive oil), and putting them in the oven at 325 for about 5 minutes, flipping them, and putting them in again for 5 minutes. The idea is to get them crispy, so however you go about it, just keep an eye on them.

In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, mint, and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Put the chickpeas and broth into a saucepan, and bring them to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for about 7-10 minutes. 

Now for the assembling. Put half of the roasted pita in a serving dish (I found that a medium sized bowl works best, keeps the layers a bit more together and makes it easier for scooping with pita), moisten with about 1/4 of the hot broth. Add half of the chickpeas, lifting them out with a slotted spoon, and scattering them over the pita. Spoon half the yogurt over the chickpeas, and repeat the layering: toasted pita, hot broth, chickpeas, and yogurt.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the red pepper (this is where I substituted with my spice mix!), and sauté until its fragrant, less than a minute. Add the pine nuts, and stir to coat with butter. When the butter begins to foam, spoon the pine nuts and all the butter all over the yogurt. Garnish with a bit of cilantro and a shower of sumac (or a squeeze of lemon works), serve and enjoy.

And there it is! Easy. Serves four people, or can be eaten solo while enjoying a glass of wine and some Queer Eye playing in the background, no judgement.

 

Book and recipe by Janet Fletcher
Photographs by Brent Peters

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