Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sesame Seed Pitas and Chickpea Sauté with Broccoli, Cauliflower, & Hummus

Whenever Mexi and I are craving a hearty meatless meal, this is what we regularly come around to.  Pungent flavors.  Warm, toasted bread.  Satisfying, belly-filling goodness.  We repeatedly crave this simple dish that came about once upon time, many years back, when I had leftover chickpeas from making a big, honkin' batch of hummus.  Because we looooo-hooove (um yes, that's supposed to be a sing-songy love) homemade hummus, as well.  It may seem kind of redundant.  Eating hummus with another chickpea dish.  Oh well.  It's brilliant together.  The difference in both the textures and the tastes taste need each other.  The meal is not complete with one component missing.  This time, however, is the first time I've ever made the pitas to go with it from scratch.  And now.  Now!  It pushes our favorite meatless meal over the edge....and we're glad to jump off after it.

Sesame Seed Pitas
from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
makes 12 pitas

1½ c. all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1½ c. whole wheat flour
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. instant yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 c. warm water + more as needed
½ tsp. honey
2 Tbs. sesame seeds

Combine flours, oil, yeast and salt in a food processor.  Turn machine on and add 1 c. warm water through feed tube along w/ honey and sesame seeds.  Process for ~30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch.  If it's dry, add 1-2 Tbs. water and process for another 10 seconds.
Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
When dough is ready, lightly flour your hands and the work surface.  Form dough into a ball and divide into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a small ball.  Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel.  Let rest until they puff slightly, ~20 minutes.
 Roll each ball less than ¼" thick, using flour to prevent sticking as necessary.  As you work, spread flat disks on a floured surface and keep them covered.  Dough should sit for 20 minutes before baking. When all the disks are rolled out heat oven to 350° F.  If you have a pizza stone, set it on the lowest rack in the oven, otherwise lightly oil a baking sheet and set it on middle rack in oven.
Slide as many disks as will fit on the stone or sheet pan into the oven using a pizza peel or large spatula.  Bake until lightly browned and puffed, then flip to the other side.  They should puff up a bit when ready.  Average baking time is ~5-6 minutes total.
If you wish, you can brush them with a little more olive oil when you remove them from the oven.  Eat right away or cooled, stored in wax paper or plastic bags...gently reheated before eating.  They can also be frozen.
That favorite meatless meal I was talking about earlier?  It's so incredibly simple...yet so incredibly addicting!

Chickpea Sauté with Broccoli, Cauliflower and Hummus
Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add some thinly sliced onion and cook for a few minutes, or until soft.  Add in some minced garlic and cooked, drained chickpeas.  Cook until the chickpeas start to get some brown spots on them.  Add in some blanched cauliflower and broccoli.  Cook until they get little crisp, brown spots on them, too.  Throw in some read pepper flakes, a squeeze of fresh lemon and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with some freshly made Hummus.  Scoop it all up into a hot pita.

Just don't say I didn't warn you of its addictive qualities!
 ***Just a quick reminder...the last day to submit an entry for this month's special edition of Tackling Bittman (and The Food Matters Cookbook GIVEAWAY) is Monday, January 31!  Plus, the last day to submit your "CORN"y Bread for Bread Baking Day #36 is Tuesday, February 1!  All of the links are on the very top of my sidebar.***

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