Pan-Fried Potato, Tabbouleh, and Hummus Pita Wrap
So I didn’t have completely honest motives when I posted about the greatness of tabbouleh last week. Yes, I loved eating it by the spoonfuls, and I loved it even more piled on top of hummus. Everything I said about its bright, tart, herbal flavors was completely true. But the thing is, I had an agenda when I made it. Yes, that tabbouleh was destined to be not only piled on top of hummus, but also to have pan-fried potatoes piled on top of it, and have that all be wrapped up in a pita. Sound a little over-the-top? No, not at all.
(At the risk of sounding redundant), I’m going to have to credit this creation to that small Lebanese restaurant in Salem, Oregon, where I go to college. The owner, a man who was born in Lebanon to a Greek mother and Lebanese father, recommended it. It had the thick, tahini-heavy hummus (it was his hummus, remember, that first turned me on that hummus could be that good), and that distinctive and sharp tabbouleh, with the spiced, creamy potatoes. All squished into a pita wrap, it made quite the fine meal. This, my friends, is why I trust other people’s recommendations more than my own impulses.
Anyway, the pita he served it in was big, warm, and thin—unlike the ones I ended up finding and using in my recreated at-home version. But, sometimes I don’t think it’s necessary to try and create an exact copy of a good food experience. Sometimes changes aren’t necessarily better or worse, just a new experience. I’m going to go ahead and pass on this message to you, if you so choose to make a version of this wrap (please do). Pan-fry the potatoes in your own spice mix; add different flavorings into the hummus; make your own pita bread! You get the picture.
One final note about all the parts of this wrap: it may seem a little overwhelming to make it all at once. And, it kind of is. But make a big batch of hummus to snack on, and save some leftovers for this. Same goes for the tabbouleh. If you have all of the components made ahead of time, the actually assembly gets whittled down into just a few minutes of cooking. I’d like to think a lot of great meals are made when the leftovers of other meals get combined to make new flavors. With the flavors of this wrap, I’d even like to think that these leftovers were even better than their original, fresh counterparts.
One Year Ago: Key Lime Pie (and yes, to this for still being my favorite summer dessert)
Fried Potato, Hummus, and Tabbouleh Pita Wrap
Inspired by Alsham Mediteranean Restaurant
Makes 4 wraps
As hinted above, it helps to get the largest-diameter pita wraps you can find. The more to wrap up in it! Also, the quantity of the spice mix called for may not need be used completely in flavoring the potatoes. Use only as much as fits your seasoning preferences.
4 soft, large pita breads
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium yukon gold potatoes, quartered and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup hummus
1 cup tabbouleh
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pita bread directly on the oven racks, and let sit in the warming oven until soft, flexible, warm, and delicious-smelling, about 7-10 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the salt, black pepper, paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Heat a few good glugs of the olive oil in a skillet, until shimmering. Drop in the potato slices, making sure to arrange them in a single layer as best as you can do. (If your skillet is too small, or if you have too many potato slices, it’s probably better to just play it safe and cook the potatoes in two batches.) Sprinkle the spice mix over the potatoes, until evenly covering all the slices. You may not use all the spice mix! After a good two or three minutes, when the first layer of the potatoes is getting deeply golden and brown, flip the potatoes. Pan fry the other side of the potatoes for another two or so minutes until browned all around. Remove from heat; set aside.
To assemble the wraps, spread about 3 or 4 tablespoons of the hummus evenly over the middle third of one of the warmed pitas. Layer about a quarter cup of the tabbouleh over the hummus. Finally, top that with about a quarter-cup’s worth or so of those warm, pan-fried potatoes. Wrap it up best you can, without everything falling out of it. Enjoy.