THE WASHINTON POST – One of the most joyful meals I had in recent months was outdoors under heat lamps at the Lebanese restaurant Au Za’atar in New York City’s
Inspired by one of the flatbreads I tasted that evening, this quick and easy recipe is my way of bringing some of the pixie dust from that meal to my everyday eating.
ZA’ATAR-SPICED CHICKPEA PITA PIZZAS
For these pizzas, chickpeas are mashed with olive oil and lemon juice just enough to come together, then seasoned with a generous amount of za’atar and piled onto pita bread along with tangy feta cheese, chopped fresh tomatoes and shredded mozzarella.
They are baked until the bread is crisped, the cheese is melted and the fragrance of the herbs is unleashed, before being showered with fresh parsley.
The result is a meal that’s simple and healthful, yet brimming with exciting flavour.
Three cups cooked chickpeas
Two tablespoons plus two teaspoons olive oil, divided
Two teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Two tablespoons za’atar
Kosher salt (optional)
Four (six-inch) whole-wheat pitas
Half cup crumbled feta cheese
One cup grape tomatoes
Two-third cup mozzarella cheese
Fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
Place the chickpeas in a medium bowl. Add two tablespoons of the oil and the lemon juice.
Then use a fork or a potato masher to mash the chickpeas coarsely, until about half of them are broken down and the mixture comes together.
Stir in the za’atar. Taste and season with salt, if desired.
Place the pita onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and brush the top side of each with the remaining two teaspoons olive oil.
Mound about a quarter of the chickpea mixture onto each pita, then sprinkle each with the feta, then the tomatoes and then the mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven, and roast for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread has crisped. Garnish with the parsley and serve.