Recipe Corner: Mediterranean Chicken Pitas with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce

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easy-chicken-pita-sandwiches-large-24712By Christine Vartanian Datian

1 large baked or store-bought chicken breast, skin removed; diced or shredded

2 (6-inch) Greek pitas (no pockets)

1/2 cup pesto sauce

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

1 cup pre-washed baby spinach leaves, chopped or shredded

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1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers (chopped)

1/4 cup artichoke hearts, packed in oil, drained and chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese or shredded Jack or Mozzarella cheese

 

1 teaspoon roasted pine nuts or walnuts

1 teaspoon dried basil

Greek seasoning

Olive oil

 

Garnish with choice of:

 

Homemade or store-bought hummus

Kalamata or oil packed black olives

Lemon wedges

 

Preparation:

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

 

Lightly brush each pita with olive oil and arrange on the baking sheet.  Spread the pesto sauce on each pita and arrange toppings (like a pizza): spread sliced tomatoes (like a fan) on top of the pesto sauce; add the chicken, spinach, red onion, red peppers, artichokes, minced garlic, and choice of cheese.

 

Sprinkle with roasted pine nuts or walnuts, dried basil and Greek seasoning, and top with a drizzle of olive oil.  Bake for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is crisp.  Do not burn bread.  Serve with choice of garnish and extra pesto sauce for dipping, if desired.

 

Suggestion:  Spread pitas with a thin layer of mashed eggplant (found in Middle Eastern markets) instead of the pesto for a smokier flavor before adding the toppings and baking.

 

Serves 2.

 

Yogurt-Garlic Sauce

 

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced or shredded

8 oz. plain nonfat yogurt or Greek yogurt
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, mashed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon crushed dried mint

Sea salt, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, and paprika to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, Aleppo pepper, paprika and olive oil in a medium bowl.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, and athttp://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/

 

*For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to:  http://www.myrecipes.com/search/site/Datian