It's a lot of work, but it doesn't take long (if you exclude the time it takes to soak the chickpeas) and it's irresistibly good! I serve it with the pita chips on the side, and with Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders using za'atar instead of BBQ spices.
Original Recipe: How to turn bread into a great meal
- 12oz dried chickpeas (or two 29oz cans, drained, and skip to step 3.)
- 2.5 t. baking soda
- 1 round pita (about 3.5oz), pocket opened, and roughly torn into 1-inch pieces (or 4 gluten free tortillas, whole).
- 5 T. EVOO
- 1 T. Za'atar
- 3/4 c. packed roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 3/4 c. packed roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves and tender stems
- 2/3 c. roughly chopped fresh chives
- 2.5 T. fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
- 1 t. cumin seeds, toasted, then roughly crushed
- 1/3 c. tahini
- 1.5 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed in a garlic press
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 - 1/2c water
- 2.5 T. EVOO
- 2 t. red pepper flakes
- 1 t. sweet paprika
Himalayan pink salt and pepper
1. Place the dried chickpeas and 1.5 t. baking soda in a large bowl. Top with enough cold water to cover by about 3cm, and let soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.
2. Drain the chickpeas well and add them to a large saucepan along wit the remaining 1 t. baking soda. Add 1.5 quarts (6 cups) water. Brink to a simmer over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium and let cook until chickpeas are soft but retain a slight bite, 30-3 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 375F.
4. (If you're using canned chickpeas, add them to a large saucepan with 4 cups water and bring to simmer over medium heat.) Add 1.25t. of the salt and continue cooking until the chickpeas are super tender, 5-10 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to set aside 1/2 c. strained cooked chickpeas. Keep the rest warm on low heat until ready to serve.
5. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the toppings: Spread 1 t. oil on a large baking sheet and then line it with parchment. The oil will keep the parchment 'stuck' to the pan. Toss the pita with 2 T. oil, za'atar, 1/4 t. salt, and a good grind of pepper, and spread out on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, tossing halfway through, about 12 minutes. Set aside.
NOTE: If you're using gluten-free tortillas, lay 6 of them on the
parchment, rub 1/4 t. oil on each one and sprinkle with za'atar, salt
and pepper. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate pan and bake an additional 2-4 minutes. Break them over the dish when you're ready to serve it.
6. Make the tahini sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk the tahini, lemon juice and garlic with 1/4 - 1/2 c. water and 1/4 t. salt until smooth and pourable. Depending on the brand of tahini you use you may need more or less water so add it 1-2 T at a time. The tahini sauce will thicken as it sits.
7. Make the chili oil: Add the oil and red pepper flakes to a small frying pan. Heat over medium until gently bubbling and fragrant, about 4 minutes., then add the paprika and remove from the heat. Set aside.
8. When ready to serve, add the reserved chickpeas to a food processor along with the fresh herbs, 2.5T. lemon juice, the garlic, cumin, 1/4 t. salt, a good grind of pepper, and the remaining 3 T. EVOO. Blitz until smooth, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
9. Drain the warm chickpeas using a sieve set over a bowl. Add the chickpeas and 3/4 c. of their liquid to the herb mixture , mixing well to combine. You want the chickpeas to be well coated and the whole mixture to be saucy but not overly wet. Add a couple more tablespoons of chickpea liquid if necessary, and discard the remaining.
10. Transfer to a large platter with a lip. Drizzle lightly with some of the tahini sauce, then all of the chili oil. Sprinkle half of the pita and serve warm, with the extra tahini and toasted pita alongside.