Since I wanted something relatively easy and not have to make anything too fussy, I decided on a Greek-inspired pita sandwich. It was ready relatively fast and it was a breath of fresh air - anything with lemon and fennel will usually bring that to mind.
If you are leery of using fennel, fear not. Cut off about 1/4-inch of the base (where it is browning) and simply use a mandoline to shave the bulb into almost paper thin slices. No need to remove the core since you are cooking it until the fennel is soft. Use the mandoline to shave the onions, too, and they will cook up tender and sweet in no time.
I used Beyond Meat Grilled Strips for ease, but homemade seitan would work well, too. Even portobello mushrooms would rock this recipe; be sure to remove the gills of the mushroom first by scrapping it out with a spoon.
I made the hummus using the recipe from Everyday Vegan Eats, which Vegan Heritage Press has published right here, but I added about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika to the mixture. I also didn't bother removing the skins of the chickpeas this time and just let the machine run a bit longer for a smoother puree. Sometimes, speed and ease is of the essence.
Greek Pita with Fennel and Spring Onion
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon fresh or dried Rosemary
12 ounces Beyond Meat strips or chopped seitan
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 spring onions, shaved
1 medium fennel, shaved
Sea salt and black pepper
Hummus (stir in ½ teaspoon smoked paprika per 1 cup of hummus)
1. Protein: Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and rosemary in a shallow dish. Add the protein and season with salt and black pepper and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the protein strips only. Cook until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes. Add the marinade, including the garlic, and cook until the garlic is golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Vegetables: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel, cover, and cook until completely tender, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring as needed. Season with salt and black pepper.
3. Assembly: Toast the pita, cut in half and split into pockets. Spread about 2 tablespoons of hummus in the pockets, add protein strips and a generous portion of the sauteed vegetables. Serve.
Tip: Cook the vegetables while the protein marinates. Transfer the vegetables to a container and cook the protein in the same skillet.
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