Oh My Potluck!

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Don’t Fetteh About The Small Stuff (Chickpea, Pita, Yogurt) Casserole

Don't Fetteh About The Small Stuff CasseroleIn one of those fortunate circumstances where I had far too much yogurt nearing expiry and not much of an inclination to go grocery shopping I found this miraculous and simple dish called “Fetteh.” It’s a very filling Lebanese dish that requires relatively few ingredients (hence not needing to go grocery shopping) and tastes utterly phenomenal. Not to mention it’s packed with really healthy stuff like chickpeas, garlic, greek yogurt and so forth. I’m not kidding when I say this is going to be a staple around my house and at many a potluck to come. Rooting around for some variations on the recipe I also found that it can be made on a smaller scale as a dish for two people.

fetteh ingredients

I’ve always had a lot of trouble soaking chickpeas (as in, the two times I’ve tried). This recipe opened my eyes to the errors of my ways. I had never thought to boil the chickpeas the next day to increase their softness (palm to forehead moment). I’m still young, I can make mistakes but it looks like I may be going the more economical root of buying dry beans from now one and giving them a soak instead of purchasing canned beans with added salt and preservatives. I’m really winning this game of life as I get older.

fetteh pitas

One day I’ll even make my own pita bread and perhaps succeed at making yogurt that yields more than 25% yogurt from milk. I think my problem with home-made yogurt is that I’m using pasteurized milk. I just want to be a pioneer, is that so much to ask? Apparently. I’ll probably have to buy a cow-share. Yup, it’s a real thing and maybe, just maybe, I’ll buy a share in a cow.

I’ll admit though, I’m more of an “urban pioneer.” I definitely enjoy having my IR thermometer, Kitchenaid stand mixer, electric oven and freezer. However, I prefer to make things from scratch than buy things pre-prepared. Yup, I’m one of those, I’ve heard all that moaning and belligerence so don’t give me that. I was marvelling the other day about how I can make my own ice cream now and patting my pioneer back… then I realized pioneers had ice boxes, no electricity and probably put ice cream pretty low on their priority list.

fetteh chickpeas

fetteh yogurt

 

Although the preparation of the chickpeas takes a couple hours the actual prep goes pretty quick, hence my playlist for this recipe isn’t too terribly long but should amuse while you’re blending, layering and baking.

Watch here or watch on Youtube.

fetteh

I’ve come across some other recipes that add sliced cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts or almonds. I would highly recommend going with any of these as they add a delicious finish to the dish.

Don’t Fetteh About The Small Stuff Casserole

(Slightly adapted from the NY Times)

Makes 6 filling portions but good for a potluck of 10-15 people if served with other sides and dishes.

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, washed, picked over and soaked overnight or for six hours (makes about 4 to 4 1/2 cups prepared chickpeas)
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (more to taste, about 2 lemons)
  • 3 pita breads, white or whole wheat
  • 4 garlic cloves, split in half, green shoots removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chiffonade
  1. Drain the beans, and combine in a large pot with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer one hour. Add salt to taste, and continue to simmer for another hour, until the beans are very tender. Drain through a colander set over a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the broth, taste and adjust salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Open the pita breads, and toast in the oven until crisp, about 10 minutes. Oil a 3-quart baking dish. Break the pitas into pieces, and line the dish with the bread.
  3. Combine the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a mortar and pestle, and mash to a paste.
  4. Puree half the chickpeas with half the garlic and the cumin in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With the machine running, add 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the olive oil and 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beans. Add salt to taste.
  5. Douse the pita bread with 1 cup of the chickpea broth (there will be some left over). Scrape the pureed chickpeas over the pita bread in an even layer. Top with the remaining chickpeas. Stir the remaining garlic, tahini and remaining lemon juice into the yogurt. Add salt to taste. Spread in an even layer over the chickpeas.
  6. Warm for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, sprinkle on the mint and serve. This can be assembled several hours before you heat and serve it, make sure to check with the host that you can use their oven. The 15 minutes will help to set the liquid and bring it up to room temperature (although the pan will be hot). If you heat it at home let it cool for 15 minutes before covering and bringing to the potluck.
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3 comments on “Don’t Fetteh About The Small Stuff (Chickpea, Pita, Yogurt) Casserole

  1. foods for the soul
    January 6, 2013

    You’ve got a wonderful wit — what a clever title! It looks like a delicious and healthy dish, especially with all of the Greek yogurt. (I can’t get enough of that stuff!)

    • kahht
      January 6, 2013

      Thanks! I am so happy to have found this recipe and be sharing it. I’ll be making it all the time.

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This entry was posted on January 6, 2013 by in Casserole, Main Dish, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , .

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