Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Greek Pizza and Spicy Chickpea Soup

I love olives. Often, I eat them right out of the jar; occasionally I'll find the discipline to use them in a dish. Greek pizza is a great olive recipe because it takes less than 15 minutes to make -- meaning that I don't have to wait too long for my olive fix. (Even still, I tend to snack on a few olives while making the pizza...)

The soup came about because I wanted to work another protein into the meal. Pureed chickpeas are added to a blend of red pepper flakes, garlic, cumin, and coriander, to create a smooth, flavorful soup with a good kick. It's one of those dishes that's even better after it sits overnight; for a super-quick meal, prepare the soup ahead of time, and then reheat it while assembling the Greek pizza.

Greek Pizza Ingredients
4 pita
olive oil for brushing
2 thin cross-wise slices of red onion (or more to taste)
16 pitted kalamata olives, quartered
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut the pitas in half, and place the halves on a baking sheet.
Lightly brush the top of each pita half with olive oil.
Arrange the red onion, olives, and feta on the pita halves.
Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes, then broil for about 30 seconds.

Serves 4.
Chickpea Soup Ingredients
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups un-chicken broth, divided*
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Puree chickpeas in a food processor.
Once the chickpeas have reached a sand-like consistency, slowly and steadily pour 1/4 cup of broth into the food processor, while processing, to create a smooth chickpea puree.
Transfer the chickpea puree to a small bowl.
Place the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a deep skillet, and warm over medium heat.
Add the garlic and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
Add the cumin and coriander, and stir fry for another minute.
Pour the chickpeas into the skillet, and stir to combine with the garlic and spices.
Slowly pour the remaining 1 3/4 cups broth into the skillet while stirring constantly, to create a smooth soup.
Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer at least 10 minutes.

Makes 4 small bowls.

*Because the store-bought broth that I use contains an ample amount of sodium, I don't add any additional salt to the soup.


veggie belly said...

i eat olives out of a jar all the time! im addicted to olives! your greek pizza looks delicious.

Chris @ Beyond Ramen said...

I really like having olives as an appetizer as opposed to copious amounts of filling bread. But maybe a slice of olive-topped pita or flatbread is just the ticket.