Oct 8, 2015 By Jewish National Fund Category: Blueprint Negev,
In the JNF Kitchen: Baked pita bread with lentils and feta
Photo: Etiel Zion
Pita is the quintessential Israeli bread, but it usually plays a supporting role to other dishes.This #RecipeOfTheWeek, Baked pita bread with lentils and feta gives pita bread a leading role.
This inventive recipe -- akin to pita lasagna -- is another delicious creation brought to us by Noa Zer. Noa, who lives in Moshav Paran in the Central Arava, heads the Resource Development Department at the Central Arava Regional Council, where she is responsible for fundraising as well as foreign affairs and connections to Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
Noa is married to a second-generation farmer from Paran and together they are starting their second agricultural season as pepper growers. The Central Arava is a key region– a focus of JNF’s Blueprint Negev initiative.
(Makes 6 servings)
250 grams (1 cup) of green lentils
3 cups of water X 2
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried mint
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
Ground black pepper
3 fresh pitas
1/2 cup olive oil
200 grams (7 ounces) feta cheese from sheep's milk12 sprigs parsley, chopped
Soak the lentils in 3 cups of hot water for 30 minutes, rinse and drain.
Transfer the lentils to a pot with fresh water and add the garlic, bay leaves, and dried mint.
Add the lemon juice and season with black pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and crushed. If necessary, add water if the lentils soak up too much water.
Season to taste with salt once cooked.
Slice each pita in half to obtain two disks of dough. Place the first disk on a baking pan lined with paper with the inside upwards, then brush it with olive oil.
Place 3-4 heaping tablespoons of lentils over the bread evenly, leaving 1/3-inch wide margin around. Crumble some feta cheese over and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Place the second half of the pita on top, with the inside facing upwards, and repeat the same steps: add lentils and cheese, and press lightly into the bottom layer.
Add a third disk, brush with olive oil and repeat the stack of layers lentils, feta and parsley.
Drizzle generously with olive oil and crumbled feta, and sprinkle over the parsley.
Create a separate stack, repeating the same steps, with the three other disks remaining.
Bake in an oven preheated to 450F for 20 minutes until edges are golden and the feta melts completely.
Serve hot, accompanied by a side of peeled cucumber slices, sea salt, and plain yogurt.