Sometimes when I don’t know what to write about, I refer to a list in my iPhone Notes that is inventively called ‘stories to write about’. This list is made up of a collection anecdotes, stories and quotes that I feel are noteworthy, funny, or just outright weird. The list is ongoing, but I rarely look at it, let alone read it as tend to add to it after I’ve had a few wines. Anyway, after an uncharacteristically dull week, I thought I’d rummage through the archives and found this little gem…
“Jamie ate a woodlouse off his chest after mistaking it for a beansprout.” That was all it said. Not context, no backstory, no nothing… Still, it did the job.
Anyhoo, let’s move on to some beany deliciousness. Inspired by Nigella’s beef and aubergine fatteh recipe I thought I’d have a go at making my own vegetarian equivalent. I loved the idea of using pitta chips as a base and topping them with gorgeous Middle Eastern ingredients and flavours. The result was hearty, wholesome and pretty as a picture.
Middle Eastern pita nachos
Serves 2 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 40 mins / V ❄
2 tbs rapeseed oil
2 wholemeal pita breads
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
Pinch chili flakes
1 medium sized aubergine, cut into small cubes
1 tbs tomato puree
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, sliced
80g vegetarian feta cheese
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Pour a tbs of rapeseed oil into a small dish and using a brush, paint the baking paper with the oil. Cut the pita bread into triangles and place on the baking tray. Using the brush, paint each piece with oil before seasoning well with salt and pepper. Bake the pita in the oven for 5 minutes before flipping each pita triangle and baking for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and put to one side.
2. In a large saucepan or cooking pot with a lid, add a tbs of rapeseed oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onions, garlic and aubergine cubes and stir well. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Once softened, stir in the cumin, coriander, salt and chilli flakes. Add a dash of water and stir again, cooking for a couple of minutes.
4. Mix in the tomato puree before adding the tinned tomatoes, cannellini beans, sliced tomato and 100mls of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Up the heat slightly and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, chop the parsley and prepare the pomegranate seeds.
5. Once cooked, take off the heat and stir in a handful of parsley (keep a little back if you want to add a sprinkle for decoration).
6. Finally, divide the pita chips onto 2 plates and top generously with the bean mixture. Crumble over the feta and sprinkle with chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a dusting of sumac.
If you’ve had a go at making my Middle Eastern nachos or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
V– Vegetarian ❄– The bean mixture is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.