Peter might have picked a peck of pickled peppers, but Paula will please your palate with a perfecto pita panini! How’s that for a lip loosener? Today’s recipe originally started out to be a pizzazzzy pita pizza, which satisfied my son’s lunch craving, but I just was in the mood for something different. Enter Perfecto Pita Panini ... mmmm, yummy. I used the thick flatbread style pita rounds that you fold in half instead of splitting into a pocket.These are so easy to make, and you can use whatever your little tummy cries out for as the filling. I wanted to use up some odds and ends, so mine is a lovely combo of leftover pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, crisped pepperoni, shaved roast turkey, and roasted red pepper strips. It was sooooo good. I made this on my new little George, which I find myself using quite a bit these days.Significantly more affordable than a panini press, this little powerhouse of a counter-top grill has made everything from grilled cheese to sausage to lamb chops to shrimp to French toast in my house. The non-stick surface makes clean-up a snap. I’m really pleased with it. ANYWAY ....
Here’s all you need:
Flatbread style pita rounds (these are the thick ones that you fold in half instead of split in half)
1 tablespoon of pizza sauce (you could use a nice ranch dressing or cream cheese instead)
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (shred yourself – it melts and tastes better)
5 thin strips of roasted red peppers (you could leave out or substitute with something else like tomatoes or pickles or spinach, etc.)
1 teaspoon chopped fine red onion
1 serving of thinly sliced roast turkey (use whatever you like ... chicken, roast beef, etc.)
4-6 slices of pepperoni – crisped up in the microwave (gets rid of the grease that way)
Warm up your George or oven or grill pan. Lay out your flatbread, and assemble the ingredients.Spread the sauce over the entire surface of the bread. Sprinkle with just a couple tablespoons of cheese. The rest of the ingredients will only be placed on half of the pita. Layer the pepperoni, onion, red peppers, and turkey. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.Fold over and place on hot grill. Close the lid and cook for about 3 ½ minutes or until heated through.This happens pretty fast when using George. I suspect it would take about 10 minutes in the oven, or 3-5 minutes per side in a grill pan.Serve immediately. Yummilicious! I loved this sandwich served with a lovely green salad on the side.Can you hear the crunch of the crust? You know, those flatbread style pita breads are so versatile. They make great open face pizzas, wonderful wraps for breakfast sandwiches, hold meatball sandwiches beautifully, and are wonderful cut into triangles and toasted for dippers! And, of course, they are awesome with gyros and falafel!Do you have a favorite flatbread recipe?
Garden Update #1
Spring is here ... I think! Living in the Pacific Northwest, Mother Nature likes to tease us with glimpses of Spring and Sunshine, but I think we may have turned a corner. I hope so, anyway. I was riding in an elevator earlier this week and was engaged in small talk with another woman on board. (Folks in Oregon are very friendly and often make small talk such as this.) This woman started the conversation with the usual safe subject ... the weather. She inquired of me if I knew if it was going to be hot and sunny as it was the previous day. I cheerfully replied that the forecast called for warm temperatures and bright sunshine. My elevator mate was truly dismayed. She said she missed the rain already; she doesn’t tolerate heat well. I gave her a look of sympathy, but confided to her that I was so happy to see the sun that I was suppressing doing a happy dance. Oh well, she gets to enjoy the clouds for most of the year here ... I’ll gladly take the sun for the couple of months that it toasts us.
I haven’t started my garden yet this year, but I’ve finished my plans for it. As a novice gardener, I did an experiment last year, leaving some of the herbs and plants in place to see what would survive the soggy wet and slushy snow. I spied closely all winter long, and thought that some of them were toast. To my utter surprise, Mother Nature has come through in spades.The parsley, sage, and rosemary that I thought were goners for sure, are now vibrant and healthy.The Greek Oregano is downright abundant and needs harvesting.I had cut the chives down to earth level, and, um, forgot about them. I can’t forget them now, though, as they are absolutely thriving and doubled in bounty.And, the best surprise is that the strawberry plants not only survived, they spread out and are already loaded with flowers. Thank you, Mother Nature, for your glorious gifts! How's your garden?