And then I found Pita. {Il Pane del Libano}

Yesterday I went to lunch with my friend Kim. I took her to Lotus– our family’s favorite Chinese/Japanese/Sushi restaurant in the next town over. It was a lovely lunch.

We had fun catching up and laughing about expat life in Italy, but the real reason I wanted to go there, (besides being with my friend and eating yummy Lotus food), was visiting the butcher 3 doors down. (More about Lotus and their Japanese fried rice that is insanely good, later.)

I finally was feeling brave enough to step inside a butcher shop, ask for something and then take it home to cook. It’s a big deal for me, considering I don’t eat much meat. My family loves meat of all kinds and I since I have been feeling more settled and adventurous, I have been cooking it more often for them.

Little did I know that this butcher shop was also a mini-middle-eastern market. (!!!) I very quickly realized it as my eyes scanned the one wall of shelves and saw tahini, many kinds of dried beans and canned ceci, stuffed grape leaves, and spices.

Then next to the cash register I saw something that made my heart skip a beat.

Il Pane del Libano and the smaller Il Pane del Siria. I was so excited! This stuff looked like the real deal- not like the pita we find in Idaho. (Well…unless we are at Pita Pit!)

With the help of my friend who speaks much better Italian than I, we ordered the meat I was wanting and I picked up 2 bags of this lovely bread. at €0,75 each- it was the steal of the day for sure.

I’m thinking even if I am not a major carnivore, this butcher shop is going to be my new favorite. Leave it to me to enter a butcher shop and come out with bread!

 

The bread is thin and light- perfect for dipping or stuffing with a yummy filling. Today I decided to make open faced sandwiches with some of the bread, and then made a salad to go with.

Greek Quinoa Salad
Greek Quinoa Salad:
Easy-Peasy to throw together. Even better the next day after it has time to marinate in the fridge. This is good stuffed into the flatbread too!
Salad-
  • 3 c. cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can of garbanzos, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup feta, diced
  • 1/2 c. chopped flat leaf parsley
Dressing-
  • 2 T. fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Large fresh Lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup good Olive oil
  • Splash of white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt & Cracked Pepper to taste

SALAD: In a large bowl, combine cooked and cooled quinoa, cucumber, pepper, onion, tomato, garbanzos. Stir to combine.

DRESSING: In a glass jar with lid, combine the dressing ingredients and shake.

Pour dressing over salad, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for best flavor merriment.

Open Faced Roasted Vegetable Pitas
(This is not really a recipe, more of an assembly of what you have on hand and what sounds good.)
  • Pita/ Flatbread
  • Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Hummus
  • Meat of choice (I used a veggie burger, because I love them)
  • Roasted veggies
  • Tzatziki (optional)
Spread hummus on the open faced pita, add raw spinach. Top with veggie burger or meat, then add roasted veggies. Finish with a dollop of tzatziki, if using. (I didn’t have any, but it would be fab on this.)
Roasted Veggies:
Use any veggies you have on hand- this is the mix I had when I spontaneously decided to make this.
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Cook minced garlic in olive oil over low heat for 3-5 min. in small frying pan. Set aside.
Cut veggies to similar size dice. Put into a large roasting pan.
Pour garlic oil over and toss with salt and pepper.
Roast for 15 min, then check until the color and doneness is to your liking.
Here’s to blue skies (wishful thinking for me), and adventures in shopping & eating!

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