There are days you sit and crave a crunchy salty snack. At first, you ignore it. But the craving will not die. Oh sure, you might find something crunchy. An apple, a carrot, but really? It is a carrot. And you really want a chip. In the interest of this unprocessed October, I could always heat up a vat of oil, thinly slice some potatoes, and fry up some homemade potato chips. And they would be delicious. But the craving demands a salty crunch NOW, not after slicing potatoes and heating a vat of oil and all that other frippery. A quick fix would be to sprinkle some salt on the end of the carrot, but… um… no.
Enter the pita. OK, I am not about to bust out and make homemade pitas (yet.) But I am lucky enough to have a local store that sells locally made pitas, all made by hand, and the ingredient list really is just flour, yeast, water, and salt. And they pretty much taste like cardboard (there really isn’t that much salt.) You see, I love those pita chips they sell like potato chips now, but have you actually read the ingredients list? Well actually they still aren’t that bad. But this is October Unprocessed month! And they are still processed. They are baked so long that they can develop edges sharp enough to be considered lethal weapons. Really not what I am looking for in a snack.
And so here is it, my crazy complicated recipe for your own pita chips. Quarter 3 pitas (my local ones are pretty awesome and homemade, so I am letting them slide into this unprocessed thing.) Split the quarters apart and lay them out, smooth outside of pita down, on a baking sheet (or two, if you decided to split up more pitas.) Brush the chips with a nice fruity extra virgin olive oil. Yes, it will take a few minutes, but bear with me. Sprinkle with kosher salt and grind some black pepper over it (do these from high above, you get more even coverage.) Pop it under your broiler set on low. After a couple of minutes, flip the baking sheet around. Obviously, if you’ve got two sheets, you’ll have to do it one at a time. Keep an eye on them, because they can go from golden brown to torched in a few seconds. You just want them golden brown, which should take about 4 minutes total.
And there you have it. Warm pita chips, crispy without being wheat-based weaponry, the delicate floral aroma of the olive oil wafting up. Every bite differs a bit, some with a bit more salt, some with a bit more pepper, each one revealing their inner character. Sure, it’s just a salty crunchy snack. But it is not uniformly salt. It is whatever you make it.