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Warm Chickpeas with Toasted Pita, Pine Nuts & Yogurt Sauce

A celebration of pine nuts from our favorite yogurt-focused cookbook Yogurt by Janet Fletcher

Serves 4

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 whole-grain pita bread rounds

2 cups plain yogurt (naturally we used full fat goat yogurt)

1 or 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced

1t finely minced fresh mint

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups boiled chickpeas or 3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup broth from boiled chickpeas or chicken or vegetable broth

1T unsalted butter

1/2t medium-hot coarsely ground red pepper such as Aleppo, or hot paprika

2T chopped cilantro

Ground sumac, for garnish (you can make this recipe with out it, but if you buy it, you'll use it constantly, so give it a try)

Preheat an oven to 325F. Toast the pine nuts on a baking sheet until evenly golden brown, about 5 minutes, shaking them to redistribute part way through. Let cool.

Using your hands, carefully tear each pita in half along the "equator" to yield half moons, each with a pocket. Gently open the half moons and separate the pockets at the rounded edge so that you have eight half moon pieces. Under a preheated broiler or in a toaster oven, toast the pita on both sides until crisp. Let cool then break into tortilla-sized portions. (We were lazy and just bought pita chips!)

In bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, mint, and salt and pepper to taste.

Put the chickpeas and broth in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Put half of the toasted pita in a serving dish. Moisten with about 1/3 cup of the hot broth. Add half of the chickpeas, lifting them out with a slotted spoon and scattering them over the pita. Spoon half of the yogurt over the chickpeas. Repeat the layering.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the red pepper and sauce until its fragrance rises, less than 1 minute. Add the pine nuts and stir to coat with butter. When the butter sizzles and foams, spoon the pine nuts and all of the butter over the yogurt. Garnish with the cilantro and a shower of sumac and serve immediately.

Photo by Gloria Putnam

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