Hummus, tzatziki, and baba ghannouj, all made for a great Greek meal that was complete even with gluten free pita bread! I got the inspiration for this meal after eating at a Mediterranean tapas restaurant in DC the other week, Zaytinya. Coincidentally, Zaytinya is owned by José Andrés, the creator of the Daring Cook’s Challenge #4 – Seafood Paella that was such a great dish to cook! Ever since then, I have been craving more of these excellent flavors that traditionally I have very little experience in. So, this meal rectified that as I made my own baba ghannouj (think hummus made with roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas), tzatziki (a creamy yogurt cucumber dip), and fresh pitas. We also had hummus, all sorts of fresh veggies (broccoli, carrots, cucumber, celery, bell peppers), and feta stuffed olives.
This whole meal was a like a song dedicated to fresh summer vegetables, and was perfect given that the evening was particularly hot and muggy and everyone was craving some cool refreshing flavors.
The first part of this meal was to make the pitas. I found an excellent recipe from Gluten Free Gobsmacked and adapted it for the ingredients that I had on hand, subbing in quinoa and buckwheat flour for sorghum and amaranth, and using walnut meal instead of almond meal. The buckwheat is what made the color of these pitas so dark and rich, and I love the flavor that buckwheat imparts, even if you use just a little bit. There were definitely some techniques to making the pitas that I ended up picking up, and I think I made them a little on the small side, but there were no complaints! I used Dave Lebovitz’s baba ghannouj recipe which turned out great, and the tzatziki recipe came from Kalyn’s Kitchen, though I did add in some mint too. I think the tzatziki was everyone’s favorite!
Adapted from Gluten Free Gobsmacked
1.5 tbs. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1.5 tsp. honey
2/3 c. quinoa flour
1/3 c. buckwheat flour
1/3 c. rice flour
2/3 c. tapioca flour
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. gelatin
3 tbs. walnut meal
1/2 tsp. salt
2.5 tbs. sugar
1/4 c. hot water
2 tbs. butter, melted
1. Dissolve honey in warm water, and add yeast. Cover and set aside until foamy.
2. Meanwhile, mix together the rest of the dry ingredients (quinoa flour all the way down to the sugar) in a large bowl.
3. In a small bowl, combine eggs, hot water, and melted butter.
4. Once yeast has activated, add the yeast and egg mixtures to the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly (I just used my hands).
5. Next, shape your pitas. Gluten Free Gobsmacked recommends an egg sized ball of dough for each pita. This is what I did. I well oiled a surface as well as my hands, and patted out a pita. Once it was about 4″ diameter, I used a spatula to transfer it to parchment paper, and carefully continued patting out the pita until it was thin enough (1/4″). The reason I didn’t do this all on the surface was because picking up the pita after it was fully patted out was very difficult. And you need the oiled surface to start.
6. Once all your pitas are on sheets of parchment paper, let them rise about 40 min. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500F.
7. Bake each batch for 5-6 minutes, and let cool on a cooling rack.