Friday, April 20, 2012

Hummus-Stuffed Pita with Roasted Vegetables

Roasting the vegetables and serving them warm from the oven makes this stuffed pita sandwich different and delicious.

For the roasted vegetables:
  • 5 cups (1-inch) peeled and cubed eggplant
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped red onion
  • 1 and 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomato
  • 1 cup (1-inch) chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
For the hummus:
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 cups drained canned chickpeas
For the remaining ingredients:
  • 4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas
1. To start, coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray and add the eggplant, red onion, tomato, green bell pepper, thyme, parsley, rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, tossing to combine.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Note: if you want to eliminate some of the prep work, you can use 1 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary instead of the fresh.

2. While the veggies roast, make the hummus: combine all the ingredients listed under hummus in a food processor and process until smooth.  If you prefer, you can also prepare the hummus in advance; store in the fridge up to a couple days before assembling the sandwiches.

3. Cut each pita in half.  Spread 1/4 cup hummus into each pita half, and fill each half with 1/2 cup roasted vegetables.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1 pita half), Calories 261

Tasting Notes:
Like I mentioned in the intro, the warm veggies make all the difference; because they instantly heat through the thin pita bread, the entire sandwich grows warm and soft.  The homemade hummus tastes so fresh and light compared to store-bought versions, which I find can be too salty or too tart from lemon. This version was just right, and I loved the toasty cumin flavor.  The sandwich could have used some kind of dipping sauce (made with non-dairy yogurt perhaps) since it was a little dry, but other than that, fantastic. I would play around with different veggies next time, too.  The tender eggplant and sweet tomatoes were great, but I would try artichoke hearts in place of the bell pepper and onions.


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