Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sabich (Israeli Fast Food)

I can't tell you how many times I've eaten falafels.  I love them, but I don't like the fact that they are deep fried!  So I end up making them at home.  Still, I have a hard time resisting and a new falafel restaurant is opening two miles from my house and so I'll have to go and check it out.

In the meantime, this Sabich Grilled Eggplant pita that I made for dinner last night is my new go to favorite!  I can't believe that I've never made this before--the flavors are just amazing together.  It's smokey, spicy, tangy, crunchy and so simple to make.  And for those of you who don't like eggplant, this will convert you!


1 large globe eggplant, sliced thinly into rounds
8 oz plain hummus spread
1 pt cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/2 large English cucumber, diced small
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
2 tbsp parsley, finely minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
Harissa sauce or Sriracha hot sauce
Amba, pickled mango sauce or diced kosher pickles
4 pita flatbreads

Note:  You can make the hummus from scratch, like I did.  You just need a food processor, cooked chickpeas, fresh garlic, tahini sauce, cumin powder, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  However, there are a lot of good brands of hummus in the grocery stores, so find a brand that you like and use it.  I also made my own harissa, a North African hot sauce, but you can purchase that as well, or use Sriracha or any hot sauce you like.   The one ingredient that I hope you can find for this dish is the Amba.  I've never tasted anything like it before and it is very hard to describe.  It's pungent, spicy, sweet, sour and salty and when mixed with the other ingredients in the wrap it goes so well together.   If you can't find it at a Middle Eastern market, then just purchase kosher dill pickles and dice them.  I also blended my Amba with a little water in the blender to create a sauce instead of using it right out of the jar.

  • Slice eggplants thinly 1/8"-1/4" rounds.  Brush both sides of eggplant lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat a flat griddle iron on medium-high heat and brush lightly with olive oil and place eggplant slices on the griddle.  Cook on both sides until golden brown.  Place on paper towels to remove excess oil.  Set aside.  
  • Combine cut tomatoes, diced cucumber, sliced red onion and minced parsley in a bowl and toss with lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.
  • Heat pita bread in the oven or a toaster oven until warm and soft and brush lightly with olive oil.
  • Layer the pita starting with the hummus, eggplant, tomato-cucumber salad, hot sauce and finish with the Amba or pickles. 
  • You can also finish with a drizzle of tahini sauce if you wish.
  • Just delicious!!! 

1 comment:

  1. Hello!
    I made this tonight, so yummy! I could not find amba (yet) but used Katki from the middleeastern grocer and it was still good. Thank for the great site! Keep it up!