Whether it’s good for us or not, bread is such an important part of our diet in India. As young girls, when my sister and I wanted that extra piece of chocolate or another scoop of ice cream, the answer was “everything in moderation”. It’s not that I avoid bread (I love it) but I like to focus on it when it tastes really, really good. If it’s just a boring sandwich with plain bread that I know won’t satisfy me, I’d rather skip the bread in that meal and eat something else. This greek bruschetta is the opposite of that – it’s bursting with flavor, delicious, healthy, quick and easy to put together. It reminds you to appreciate a good whole wheat pita bread or multigrain loaf the way it was meant to be eaten.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know my obsession for all kinds of mediterranean (vegetarian) food. It would be extremely hard for me to pick one favorite kind of cheese but feta is definitely up there. This recipe puts a different spin on traditionally Greek and Mediterranean ingredients while keeping it healthy and flavorful. For the longest time, I couldn’t quite figure out what to call it – with the triangular thin pieces of pita bread topped with cheese, nachos come to mind; spiced chickpea flatbread was another idea. Finally, I decided to name it greek bruschetta (thanks to everyone on Instagram who sent in ideas). You aren’t limited to using pita bread – if it isn’t available near you, just use any whole wheat or multigrain bread, sliced as thin as you can manage to.
Provided you have cooked or canned chickpeas on hand, 10 minutes of your time gets this vegetarian, protein and good fats-rich party snack ready to go. Spices like za’atar, paprika and red pepper are what make this recipe so zesty. If you don’t have them stocked in your pantry, you can get locally produced ones on the market. Brands like Keya sell them commonly at grocery stores across India or at specialty stores like Nature’s Basket, Foodhall and Crawford Market retailers. You can even make your own za’atar by mixing dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted white sesame seeds and sea salt. If you’re vegan, skip the feta and you’re good to go.
Next up in my Mediterranean series will be a warm, comforting lentil soup to cure the rainy season blues. If you have any requests or if you try this recipe, let me know! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, on Instagram (hashtag #theindiaedition), Twitter or Facebook.
- 2 whole wheat pita breads, sliced in half width-wise or 3-4 slices of multigrain bread
- 80g feta cheese
- 1 handful of parsley, chopped finely
- 3-4 tbsp tahini
- 100g cooked chickpeas
- 1-2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- ½ tsp za'atar seasoning
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp chili powder or more, to taste
- A pinch of salt
- In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the spiced chickpeas.
- Heat or toast the bread in an oven, skillet or toaster until lightly toasted.
- Assemble by topping bread with chickpeas followed by (in order) feta, parsley and tahini.
- Serve immediately.
More of my mediterranean favorites:
Mix and match and make it a meal!