Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pita Sandwich with Tarator Sauce

Pin It VB: Do you remember what we had that day at Russian River Valley? You know, during our lunch break from canoeing.

CG: A big bowl of watermelon?

VB: We had watermelon?

CG: Yeah.

VB: I wasn't thinking about the watermelon.

CG: Oh.... Hm. That pita sandwich with that white sauce?

VB: Yeah. That was good.

CG: Okay.... Random.

Here it is, the pita sandwich with that "white sauce" from a couple of summers ago recreated. I picked this recipe for our Russian River Valley trip because it keeps well in a cooler since everything is vegan. It turned out great and apparently, it was also memorable.

For the sandwich, you'll need:
  • 4 pita breads, cut in half and pocket opened
  • 2 medium/large zucchini, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs of dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into large 1/2 inch slices
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 medium Roma tomatoes, diced 
  • salt and pepper to taste
Begin by sprinkling about a teaspoon of salt on both sides of the sliced eggplant. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes and allow salt to draw out the moisture.

In the meantime, saute diced yellow onion in olive oil until translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add diced zucchini and lemon juice. Allow the zucchini to cook for 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Add chopped dill and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Pat eggplant slices dry with paper towels. Set broiler on high and place sliced eggplants in a greased pan underneath. It will take about 5 to 8 minutes on each side. Watch the eggplant closely because it can burn rather quickly. After both sides are broiled, remove and allow them to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, chop eggplant into large pieces.

The "white sauce" (a.k.a. tarator sauce) is adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 slice of white bread, crust removed and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon of Tahini sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • a dash of paprika (optional)
Soak white bread in water until softened, about 10 minutes. Combine garlic and pine nuts in a food processor until the mixture becomes granulated. Add Tahini sauce, lemon juice, white bread and soaking liquid and salt. Process until the mixture becomes a sauce. Adjust seasoning, if necessary. It will be pretty runny, but if you let it sit for 20 minutes or so, it will thicken up. Add a dash of paprika prior to serving.

To assemble the sandwich, stuff diced broiled eggplant, sauteed zucchini and diced tomatoes into the pita pocket. Drizzle tarator sauce over the top and serve.

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