For they say the distance makes the heart grow fonder and these few months that i could not do what i like doing the most- cooking with my complete heart and soul .. i felt all the more allured by food and everything around it. We recently shifted to a new abode to call it our new home. Mesmerized by the mystique and magic of this persian land, it was normal for us to dwell into their culture and what better way to dwell deep than through food. Simple, representative of roots and innovated or improvised from the heart are three ingredients that i feel are the essence of the often used and almost cliched term we all know very well as gourment! Walking though the aisles of hypermarkets here , i almost feel like a kid -- all so happy all so curious to look at all that is new-- fruits i have'nt heard of before, fromagiere with varied cheeses from around the globe, breads in shapes and textures still to be explored and well how can i forget sweets-- they are to die for certainly. umm..
So with an open mind and a sensitive heart , i open the doors of my arabian kitchen to the world today. Today is the day the cook in me ignited the oven and literally, i mean coz unlike in the US we purchased a gas oven here :) Even before i placed anything to bake or char , i loved the whiff of the burning metal as i started my new kiln. Like the first day at the gym when u go easy with ur weights, my idea with my new "kiln" was much the same. So today was the day for something semi homemade,quick yet fresh and truly tantalizing for the tongue- The layered flatbread with some old and few new.
Hitting the chord then.
4 Lebanese bread aka pita
1 store bought can of baba ganoush
1 red bell pepper- julienned
1 yellow pepper - julienned
1 white onion - sliced as half moons
4 cloves garlic- sliced
4 cloves garlic- sliced
Bulb of a fennel- sliced as half moons
Zaatar to sprinkle and more
Feta cheese to taste
Grana padano or parmigiana, broken into small pieces to taste
Salt and pepper
To start take all the vegetables on a lined sheetpan and sprinkle some olive oil, zaatar, salt and pepper. Mix with hand and roast in the oven at 350F for about 15-18 minutes( i literally smelled and tasted the veges to check the char level in my gas oven) When done remove.
Take a whole pita or bread and rub with olive oil on both sides, sprinkle some zaatar and warm the pitas in the oven on a new lined sheet. When warmed, slather and evenly spread about 2 tsps of baba ganoush and spread some of the roasted vegetables on top. The baba ganoush adds to the smoky flavor of the vegetables much like adding some coco powder to melted chocolate to deepen the flavors for say a mousse without the calories. Next sprinkle some olive oil , feta and grana padano with some more zaatar if u like. Return to the oven and bake till the cheese is melted about 1-2 minutes. Do the same for the rest of the pitas and serve along side some red pepper flakes and a cool cool drink of your choice.
Easy for brunch , lunch or a light dinner.
Bon Appetito ;) with a candlelit shot!