It has been over a month since my last post. The one where I talked about eating healthier, less processed food. I imagined that as I tried to trade bad habits for better nutrition, I’d be posting on here more. But the opposite happened– I’ve barely posted at all. Today, I’m reviving this blog. Better recipes, more inspiration, and (fingers crossed!) more regular posts. This pita pocket recipe, which I made for lunch last week, seemed like a good one to start with.
What began as a simple lunch from my pantry became a delicious, fresh summer meal. Soft, warm pita bread, a filling of spicy, creamy chickpeas, and a little crunch from the salad greens. This recipe isn’t difficult to make, especially if you mix up the pita dough a day or two before hand. And you can always buy pitas instead, simply making the chickpea filling to complete the meal.
Start by making pita bread. I made a bunch of mini pitas, but you can follow the recipe as written to make full-sized ones. If you decide to go the mini route, you’ll get two mini pitas for each large one stated in the recipe.
Chop up some onions, toss them in a pan. Add a few spices and some olive oil, mix, and cook over medium heat. Add a can of rinsed chickpeas. Cook until tender.
Open up a bag of greens. These are your pita pocket ingredients.
Slice and split open each pita. Fill with some greens, then some chickpea filling. Serve with lemon slices.
- Mix together water and yeast. Stir in 1 1/4 cup flour, salt, and olive oil. Stir to form a shaggy dough.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Use flour to keep the dough from sticking, but be sparing.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450 F with a baking stone or baking sheet inside. Deflate the dough and divide into 4 pieces (8 pieces for mini pitas). Use a floured rolling pin to flatten each pita until 1/4 inch thick, forming rounds 8 inches in diameter (6 inches for mini pitas). Cover rolled-out pitas with a damp dishtowel until ready to bake.
- Place the rolled-out pitas directly onto the baking stone or sheet, and bake 3-4 minutes until fully puffed and just beginning to take on color. If pitas do not puff, mist or dab lightly with water. Double-check that the oven is at 450 F, and increase oven temperature 10-20 degrees.
- Pita bread can be made ahead of time. You can stop at step 3 and save the dough in your fridge for 1-2 days, or bake the pitas and store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Combine onion, garlic, tomato paste, hot pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, black pepper, and olive oil in a pan. Stir together, then cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent.
- Add chickpeas and cook about 10 minutes, or until soft. A few tablespoons of water can be stirred in if the filling gets too dry. It shouldn’t be watery, but it should remain wet enough that it doesn’t stick to or burn onto the pan.
- Squeeze lemon over the hot chickpeas, stir, and assemble pitas. Chickpea filling can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheated as needed.
- Slice each mini pita in half. Carefully use a knife to open up each pocket, if not fully puffed and open from baking.
- Add a few lettuce leaves to the bottom of the pocket. Press greens down gently and scoop in chickpeas, one small spoonful at a time. Serve with lemon wedges as garnish.