From Kathryne Taylor’s vibrant debut cookbook Love Real Food, a recipe for inspired vegan Greek-style pita nachos with creamy herbed tahini dressing. Jump to recipe.
Yesterday, I was up before sunrise and saw the night tip into day as I drove through the Blue Ridge Mountains, taking in the foggy valleys and emerald mountainsides. Later, as the last bits of light lingered in the nighttime sky, the forest outside the kitchen window was electric with fireflies and fluttering bats streaked tipsy paths across the sky.
Which is all to say, summer has arrived. The girls have been out of school for two weeks and our days have been spent lazily at pools and parks, reading books, and frolicking in the backyard. And even though deadlines and emails are piling up in my work life, these weeks have been a nice respite from the daily grind.
The long, busy days, coupled with a sudden abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, have led us to abandon dinner planning altogether. Instead, we put together a salad with a simple whole grain and whatever protein we have on hand. As I’ve switched focus to uncomplicated summer dinners, I’ve found a lot of encouragement leafing through Kathryne Taylor’s debut cookbook, Love Real Food, which has simple meal inspiration on every page.
Love Real Food walks the line between the healthful and hearty beautifully. Just as on her blog Cookie + Kate, Kathryne’s simple approach to cooking and smart flavor combinations are key to her fun and lively approach to vegetarian cuisine. The inviting photos that accompany the recipes make the flavor and beauty of her wholesome ingredients leap off the page.
These vegan Greek-style pita nachos called to me instantly. Not really nachos at all – there’s neither fake nor real cheese – this dish is essentially a big cucumber and tomato salad smothered in an herbaceous tahini dressing and served over savory pita crisps. Easy to throw together and delightful to eat, this is ideal as an appetizer or light summer meal.
From Kathryne Taylor's vibrant debut cookbook Love Real Food, a recipe for inspired vegan Greek-style pita nachos with creamy herbed tahini dressing.
- 4 whole wheat pitas (7-inch)
- extra virgin olive oil , for brushing
- sea salt
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (I omitted these because I'm allergic)
- 1 medium tomato , finely chopped (I used cherry tomatoes)
- 1 small cucumber , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 2)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley , plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup pitted and thinly sliced Kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 large clove garlic , pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 1/2 to 2 lemons)
- 1/4 cup mixed fresh leafy herbs ( I like half flat-leaf parsley and half basil or cilantro)
- 2 tablespoons water , plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Brush both sides of the pitas with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Stack one pita on top of another and use a sharp chef's knife to slice them into 8 small wedges, like you would a pizza. Repeat with remaining 2 pitas. Arrange wedges enenly across baking sheet and bake until lightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, tomato, cucumber, green onions, parsley, olives, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. Toss, then taste and add more salt if necessary. Set aside to marinate.
In a small food processor, combine tahini, lemon juice, herbs, water, and salt and blend until smooth, pausing to scrape down sides as necessary. (Alternatively, you can finely chop the herbs and whisk together the sauce in a measuring cup.) The sauce should be nice and creamy, but drizzle easily off the back of a spoon – if not, blend in a bit more water. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
To assemble nachos, arrange toasted pita wedges across a large serving plate (some overlap is fine). Stir salad once more, then use a slotted serving spoon to scoop the salad onto the pita wedges, leaving the messy salad juices in the bowl. Generously drizzle herbed tahini sauce over salad. Top nachos with a sprinkle of parsley. Serve immediately.
Adapted with permission from Love Real Food: More than 100 Feel-Good Vegetarian Favorites to Delight the Senses and Nourish the Body by Kathryne Taylor.