Harris Teeter Chef Amy Riolo is back with another delightful Greek recipe. Greek salad is good, but may sometimes taste a little—well, bland; she has a great way to spice it up with special spiced pita chips.
Making the hummus
Start by pouring 1 c. cooked chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) into your food processor, and add 1/3 c. tahini. What’s tahini? It’s made the same way that they make peanut butter from peanuts, only tahini is made from sesame seeds; it’s a sort of sesame paste, and gives the chickpeas and this whole dish a special taste.
Next, mince up two cloves of garlic and add that in—you can even add more, there’s never too much garlic in a dish like this one! Add 2 t. extra virgin olive oil, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, and a dash of cayenne for just that extra little spiciness.
Start your processor and be sure to keep an eye on how it’s all blending. You can start adding a little water once it seems to all be coming together. Add the water a little at a time and watch the consistency as you do, because what you’re looking for is for it to still be a paste but not be too dry. This is a good time to add in a little lemon juice as well.
Now it’s time to check the hummus: you’re checking both for taste and for consistency, and it’s fine to add more ingredients at this point to adjust it to your taste. Riolo likes it to be nice and lemony with a sharp tang of garlic cutting through. You could add some herbs at this point if you’re looking for a slightly different taste. And that’s it for the hummus!
Add the Greek salad
Spoon it onto your plate and make it into a bed for your Greek salad vegetables. Riolo likes to follow a pattern: green, red, green. She does this by starting the first layer with an English cucumber, chopped into small chunks. The next layer—red—is three Roma tomatoes. The third layer—green—is green peppers. Then you can add 2 oz. feta cheese. Be aware that this is a strong cheese with a lot of salt, so you don’t need to use much. Add pitted Kalamata olives on top, and your salad is all set!
Spiced pita chips
Take two pieces of pita bread and cut them into quarters… or, in fact, any size that you want. Break them open so that they’re only a single layer thick, not double.
Drizzle olive oil over these pita pieces, and then make sure that they’re all evenly coated; you can do that with a brush or just with your hands. Riolo points out that using your hands is quicker and may distribute the oil more evenly.
On the side, assemble sesame seeds, coriander, and dried thyme. This combination reproduces za’atar, which is a Middle Eastern spice and is just perfect for these pita chips. This spice mix can be used in a lot of ways—even mixed into plain Greek yogurt as a dip for chips and vegetables.
Cover the pita pieces that have been coated with olive oil with this spice mixture and scatter hem around a pan. Pop the pan under the broiler and watch; they’re ready when they’re golden. Turn them over and do the same thing on the other side. It’s really that easy!