May 18, 2011

easy Mediterranean meal

mozarella balls & grape tomatoes 
with chopped parsley

In a serving bowl, toss together mozarella balls, grape tomatoes, chopped parsley or basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper just before serving or let it marinate for a few minutes up to an hour for maximum flavor.

In a food processor, combine a small clove of garlic, one 15 oz can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, lemon juice, a little salt and pepper and process until coarsely chopped. Slowly add olive oil to the mixture and continue to process until minced. Add tahini paste (made from toasted sesame seeds) if available. Sprinkle with paprika or cayenne pepper if desired. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with pita bread wedges.

fresh and hot from the oven 
pita / focaccia bread
whole wheat pita bread wedges
I used a whole wheat pita bread recipe but decided to just roll the dough out into a flat disk like a pizza so it came out looking more like a foccacia in the photo above. I found this amazing new recipe for softer pita bread at the Tastespotting website posted by Cooking With Directions. Many thanks for the must-try idea!

2 1/4 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (divided)
1 1/2 cups bread flour (divided)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (divided)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of the bread machine or electric mixer, add and stir the yeast, honey and 1/2 cup water. Whisk in 1/4 cup bread flour and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour until smooth. Cover and set aside for about 30-45 minutes until mixture is bubbly. Add the remaining water, whole wheat and bread flour, olive oil and salt. Knead for 8 minutes or let the bread machine do its work in the dough cycle . Let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Form into balls and flatten into 6-7" round disks. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes before baking at 375F to 400F for 5-10 minutes.

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