I decided on another out-of-bread dinner for tonight, instead of buying bread and going for yet another pasta. This is a recipe from The Foods of Israel Today by Joan Nathan. This book is a reminder that, like the US, Israel is a nation of immigrants, and their food reflects that.
Here is how I made today’s dinner, plus extra pitas for tomorrow. I made a half recipe of pita dough (six pitas) as follows, then made spinach triangles out of two of the six pitas.
Mix 1 1/4 tsp (half a packet) yeast with 3/4 cup warm water and let stand till the yeast is dissolved, then add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp olive oil, and mix. Stir in about 1 3/4 cups flour, then knead 10 minutes till you have a nice dough, adding in more flour as necessary. Let rise in an oiled bowl 1 1/2 hours or till doubled. Divide into six parts and roll into balls. Let rise 5 minutes under a cloth (I let them rise a lot longer – about 20 minutes). Roll out to 6″ discs and let sit 15 minutes. I went ahead right away with the triangles, and let the four doughs destined to be pitas sit – turned out to be something like 15 minutes in the end.
For each spinach triangle: brush the rolled dough with olive oil. Sprinkle on one smidgen allspice, and one pinch each salt and sumac (Restoration Hardware measuring spoons: dash = 1/8 tsp, pinch 1/16, smidgen 1/32!) Sprinkle/spread/goop on 1 to 2 scallions (whole thing), which have been sliced and cooked in 1/4 Tbsp olive oil till soft. Mound up 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach (more would probably be better) and sprinkle a scant 1 tsp lemon juice over the spinach. Moisten the edges of the pitas with water and fold into triangles, sealing the edges. Place on a tiny bit of corn meal on a pizza peel and place onto a stone in a preheated 500 degree oven. Cook about 10 minutes and then check for doneness – golden brown is good. Chicory, arugula, dandelion greens, or a combination, can be substituted for the spinach.
Molten spinach is not good for the tongue, so I cooked these first and then let them cool while I cooked the four pitas, two at a time on my 8″ stones in our small oven (something gooey was on my big stone! no idea what). The pitas cook 3 minutes at 500. I think if they get golden they will be hard, so they need to be stopped before then. The other two pitas I served with hummus topped (for beauty, not really anything more) with paprika, a few pine nuts, and some olive oil. We ate about half the 8 oz container, though it claims to have 8 servings in it. It was our dinner protein, so I guess that’s ok. The Hummus was by Haig’s Delicacies, “Garbanzo Bean Meze,” and I liked it quite well. It was thick and sticky and stuck to the top of the container when I tried to open it – all to the good!
D chose a nice white to go with this: Cupcake Vineyards 2011 Central Coast Chardonnay. It was good and we enjoyed it. A good deal at $7.99, and only 13.5% alcohol. Yay!