Friday, July 14, 2017

Just in time for summer - Christine Datian’s latest recipe from The Armenian Mirror-Spectator: Garbanzo Bean and Pepper Pies with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce

Christine’s timing is impeccable! Just as I was trying to decide what recipe to post this week, she emailed me her latest recipe submission for The Armenian Mirror-Spectator and asked if I’d be able to post it.

I am always delighted to share Christine's recipes. In fact, I am happy to share favorite Armenian family recipes from any of my readers - hint, hint!

This recipe can be oven-baked or made on a grill. Either way, it's one we hope you'll enjoy! 

Garbanzo Bean and Pepper Pies with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce
By Christine Vartanian Datian
Serves 4.

4 pocket-less pitas, any variety
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 small white onion, minced
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 each medium green and red bell pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon each paprika, sea or Kosher salt, and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Aleppo pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil

Serving Options: Crumbled Feta cheese, sliced red onions, roasted red peppers, lemon wedges

Yogurt Cucumber Sauce Ingredients:
2 cups plain yogurt
3 medium Persian cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, mashed
Juice of one large lemon and the zest
Salt, black pepper and dried dill to taste
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven to 375°F. (** Too hot to turn on your oven? See grilling instructions below.)

Prepare the sauce: Combine all ingredients for the Yogurt Cucumber Sauce in a medium glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prepare Garbanzo-Pepper topping: In a food processor or bowl, mash the garbanzo beans until soft; add the onion, tomato, bell pepper, tomato paste, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, and mix to combine.  Add the parsley, and season to taste.

Place the pitas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread about 1/4 cup of the bean- pepper mixture to cover each pita; drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Bake pitas for 10-12 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, and remove from oven.

Serve with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce.

To serve: Top pitas with crumbled Feta cheese, sliced red onions, and roasted red peppers, if desired, and fresh lemon wedges on the side.

** Grilling option:
Prepare bean-pepper topping and yogurt sauce ahead of time.
Lightly oil the grill grates. Turn grill on to medium-high. Lightly brush olive oil on each pita; spread garbanzo-pepper topping on each, covering the surface.
Place the pitas on grill grate; close grill cover and grill for about 5 minutes. Check periodically to make sure pita crusts aren’t burning. Serve immediately with yogurt sauce and optional toppings.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee Newspaper, Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine, and at

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