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 /
1 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 (you can use any can of beans), rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, sliced
80g vegetarian feta cheese
Handful, chopped fresh mint
TIP: The bean mixture actually makes enough for four people. This is suitable for freezing once cooled fully and stored in an airtight container.
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the pita bread into triangles and place on the baking tray. Add a tbs of rapeseed oil into a small dish and using a brush, paint each piece with oil on both sides, before seasoning well with salt and pepper. Bake the pita in the oven for 5 mins before flipping each pita triangle over and baking for a further 2 mins. Remove from the oven and put to one side.
2. In a large saucepan or cooking pot with a lid, add a drizzle 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 mins.
3. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and drain and rinse the beans. Once softened, stir in the cumin, coriander, salt and chilli flakes. Add a dash of water and stir again, cooking for a couple more minutes.
4. Mix in the tomato puree before adding the tinned tomatoes, cannellini beans, sliced tomato and 3 tbs of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat slightly and simmer uncovered for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, chop the fresh mint and prepare the pomegranate seeds.
5. Once cooked, take off the heat and divide the pita chips onto 2 plates. Top generously with the bean mixture and crumble over the feta and sprinkle with mint and pomegranate seeds. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a dusting of sumac.
If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.
V– Vegetarian ❄– The bean mixture is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.