This week, as you may know, I am curing my craving for travel by staycationing in Athens, Greece. What turned out as a “hey, let’s see what happens with this” kind of project has really turned into something fun. Yesterday, I talked about how I tried to replicate an Athenian day and today is Pita Day.
I’ve said, it once, I’ll say it again: every culture has a tortilla. The pita is the Greek tortilla.
When I was a kid, once in a while, my mom would by pita to make my sandwiches for lunch. I thought they were so magical. There was a circular bread without any edges and then when it was cut open, there were was a pocket. How DID that happen?!?! It amazed me.
Pita is actuality is pretty simple to make. The main ingredients are flour, water, olive oil, yeast and salt. This combination is the basis for many breads around the world – including the tortilla. I used the recipe found in Mark Bittman’s How to Make Everything Vegetarian book. I know, he’s not Greek, but the man knows his stuff, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. This was the first first time I had ever attempted to make bread and making pita was a great intro to the process. The ingredients are mixed, the dough rises, it’s rolled out and baked. Pretty simple.
I decided to make this batch of pita on the stove as opposed to the oven because I was using the oven for roasting the eggplant in the dish I made to go with the pita. I think next time I will go ahead and use the oven and a pizza stone. The bread turned out deliciously on the stove, but I think the pockets would be bigger when baked in the oven.
Yes, the pockets! I about flipped out when I ripped off a piece of pita and found there was a pocket there. Thank you yeast!
Pita can be used to scoop up a collection of small dip type dishes called mezés. Mezés are served before a large commemorative meal, or as a meal of themselves. I love small plates because I can try a bunch of different things. I decided to make melitzanoslata which has also been called eggplant caviar. Let me tell you, it’s awesome. Unfortunately, melitzanosalada doesn’t look nearly as good as it tastes so I do not have photo posted. What I love about eggplant is that it can take on the flavor of whatever surrounds it, much like mushrooms. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with eggplant surrounded by olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and parsley! And the ladies at my mom’s bunco night seemed to agree.
So far I am finding this little journey to Athens quite enjoyable. I know the flavors aren’t exactly the same as they would be if I was actually there, but this little home experiment seems to be conjuring up some good stuff. What about you? Have you been Greekin’ it up this week?