As the name suggests this is a middle eastern take on nachos, based in part on a couple of salads in Claudia Roden’s very awesome cookbook The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. The flavors and textures of this multilayered dip says Salatim to me; the salad and dips part of any good Israeli meal. It’s vegan, vegetarian, parve, gluten free** if you leave out the pita chips, and above all totally taim (delicious)!
**5/6/14: Made dish this weekend and was impressed by the clean-platter response. I substituted the pita chips for chopped romaine lettuce it was very light, refreshing, yet satisfying
1 1/2 lbs. eggplant (about 4 cups) peeled and cubed
5 cloves peeled garlic
1 tablespoon salt
4 tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
a few drops of hot sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 x 15 oz. cans chick peas
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)*
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
8 oz. bag Pita Chips
1/2 – 1 cup tehina
sliced green olives and/or chopped hot peppers, for garnish
Tomato Eggplant Salsa
1. Boil the eggplant with the garlic cloves in salted water, for approximately 20 minutes or until eggplant is very soft. Drain the eggplant and garlic in a colander and then mash it up with a fork, making sure to press all the water out.
2. Put the chopped tomatoes in the emptied pan and and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes until it breaks down to a thick sauce. Mix in the mashed eggplant, olive oil, vinegar, paprika and hot sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
1. Drain the chickpeas and combine in a medium bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, diced onions, and chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread out pita chips on a large serving platter. Top evenly with chickpea’s. Spread with a thick layer of Tomato-Eggplant Salsa. Spoon Tehina sauce lushly over top of salsa layer, so that it drips down the sides to the pita chips. Artfully scatter sliced olives and chopped hot peppers (Heb: pilpel harif).
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer/side dish.
* Helpful hint on how to tame the flavor of raw onions: chop to desired size, place in a colander and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
** Variations: For a completely Gluten-Free version: Swap out a layer of brown rice for the pita chips, and fresh cucumber slices for extra crunch. Chopped kalamata olives are also a particularly flavorful garnish.