In Israel, it is typically served warm accompanied by hummus, tehina or filled with falafel and salad. Kids love it because it is like having a meal in one hand. A twist on tradition and a little creativity makes even the most ordinary tuna or egg salad exciting when stuffed into a fresh pita, along with all the familiar salad greens and tomatoes.
Hot off the grill or straight from the kitchen, tasty fillings stuffed into a pita, eaten out of hand makes for a delicious and nutritious lunch.
The pocket that is created while it bakes makes this bread a perfect edible container, and makes any child's feast a portable one. If you're ambitious, the food processor makes quick work of making pita from scratch.
Refresh pita breads by wrapping a stack of them in foil, and heating them for 10 minutes in a preheated 350° oven. (A microwave makes them kind of limp).
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 package yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup warm water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in sugar. With machine running, pour yeast mixture into flour mixture. Process just until the dough comes together.
Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled about 1 hour. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead to remove the air bubbles.
Roll dough into a log and divide evenly into 12 pieces. Pat each piece of dough into a ball, them use a rolling pin to flatten into discs about 1/4 -inch thick and 6 inches in diameter. Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet, flatten slightly and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500°. Place oven rack in lowest position.
Bake the pita bread, one pan at a time, until puffed and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool breads on a wire rack.
1/2 cup finely shredded fresh carrots
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
4 Tbsps. chopped fresh
6 6-inch pitas
Mix all filling ingredients.
Line pita pockets with lettuce leaves. Stuff pockets with filling.
1/2 cup hummus
4 pita pockets
4 slices roasted kosher sliced turkey
1/2 cup shredded or chopped Iceberg lettuce
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
Spread the hummus inside the pocket.
Add remaining ingredients in layers in pocket.
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsps. mayonnaise
1 can (6 oz.) chunk tuna, drained
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 Tbsps. raisins
1 Tbsps. lemon juice
4 pita pockets
In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayo; beat until smooth.
Stir in tuna, celery, carrots, raisins and lemon juice; blend well to combine.
Line pockets with spinach.
Stuff pockets with tuna mixture.
Creamy Cheese and Greens Pocket
4 oz. cottage cheese
2 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil or butter
4 oz. mixed salad greens, torn into bite-size pieces
2 apples, cored and diced
6 6-inch pita breads, cut in half
In a small bowl, blend cheese with olive oil until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the greens and apples. Spread inside of pita with cheese mixture, then fill with greens mixture.
Makes 6 pockets.
4 6-inch pitas
6 Tbsps. pesto
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup olives, pitted and halved
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Spread inside of pockets with pesto.
Combine the remaining ingredients and fill pockets.
Louise Fiszer is a California cooking teacher and food writer. Among the six books she's co-authored is Jewish Holiday Feasts.