This is a template recipe so don’t hesitate to substitute, add, subtract, etc. ingredients. There are not rights and wrongs here. Start with the pitas and the hummus and let your imagination and taste buds have some fun!
Would you like to learn magic trick? A super simple magic trick? One that might just make your family think that you took the afternoon off just to make dinner for them? One that (only you will know) helped you to run home from work and have a great dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes? A dinner that caters to the picky eaters and individual tastes of the members of your family?
Are you ready? It involves pocket-less pitas. Some of you might be asking, “What are pocket-less pitas and what kind of magic trick would anyone want to do with these?” Pocket-less pitas are round flat pitas that are sold these days at most grocery stores. They are very ordinary, anemic and bland looking in the bag at the store. If eaten right out of the bag, they have very little taste, BUT, if you employ the bit of wizardry that I am about to teach you, you will be shocked at the transformation!
This is once again, what I call, a go-to dinner; a healthy, fresh meal that you can have on the table in short order without resorting to box mixes or frozen dinners. I encourage you to plan ahead a bit and keep a well-stocked pantry which will make this fun dinner easy-peasy any day of the week! I love to cook but there are days when, honestly, I don’t even think about dinner until I hear the garage door go up, signaling that my hungry husband is home! When I put together a delicious meal in minutes, sometimes I even surprise myself!
I purchase these pitas at Costco in bulk and store them in my freezer. They are very cheap this way: 23¢ a piece to be precise! I have also noticed them at several of my local grocery stores in the bakery section.
So, what is this amazing trick? Like I said, the pitas will look quite anemic when you pull them from the package. If you took a bite you might think you were chewing on a thick piece of cardboard. The secret step involves heating a medium size saute pan, adding just one teaspoon of olive oil and then quickly searing them on both sides until light golden brown. To me, it’s almost as if the pita comes alive! This humble little bread puffs up a bit and ends up tasting like it was just freshly baked.
The small amount of olive oil adds huge amounts of flavor and the aroma when you are searing these is captivating. If you close your eyes, you might just think you’re standing at a pita kiosk somewhere along the Mediterranean, waiting for freshly baked flatbreads. Just don’t expect to open your eyes and see some handsome Greek street vender hanging out in your kitchen! 🙂
Once you are finished with this transformation, you are just minutes from dinner. I like to use a hummus base and then just pile on whatever strikes my fancy – today I used some shredded rotisserie chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, feta cheese, kalamata olives, shredded lettuce, cilantro and toasted pine nuts. I finished it off with a drizzle of Greek salad dressing. Yum, I can hardly wait!
Another creative plan is to set out a variety of ingredients and let your family members prepare their own. Even those with the most discriminating (aka – picky) palates will walk away from the table with happy tummies!
P.S. My recipe today calls for “a drizzle of your favorite Greek salad dressing”. Warning: Don’t buy a very big bottle because later this week, I will be sharing a recipe for a simple but fabulous Greek dressing!
Mediterranean Chicken Pita Wraps
Extra virgin olive oil
4 pocketless pitas (I use Kontos brand, but whatever you can find is fine)
2 cups chicken breast, grilled and thinly sliced or rotisserie, shredded
hummus, homemade or storebought
1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced, or same amount cherry or graped tomatoes, halved
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 cup thinly sliced Romaine lettuce
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
Greek salad dressing
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1. Heat a small (big enough to hold 1 pita) non-stick pan on high for several minutes. For each pita, add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil to hot pan. Heat oil until very hot but not smoking. Swirl oil in pan to cover most of bottom. Add pita to pan and let sear for 20 to 30 seconds or until golden. Flip pita over and repeat. Remove from pan and repeat procedure for all pitas. (You’ll be tempted, but don’t eat the pitas now or dinner will be a bit sad!)
2. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of hummus down middle of each pita. Top with chicken and other ingredients except nuts. Drizzle as desired with Greek dressing. Top with toasted pine nuts. Serve while warm.