Loaded Pita Nachos with Lentil Chili and Feta Queso

The secret to these flavor-packed, plant-based nachos from Cassie Piuma at @SarmaRestaurant are two different kinds of lentils:

8/3/2021 12:30:00 AM

The secret to these flavor-packed, plant-based nachos from Cassie Piuma at SarmaRestaurant are two different kinds of lentils:

Cassie Piuma's Loaded Pita Nachos with Lentil Chili and Feta Queso pairs spicy, crunchy cabbage with homemade lentil chili and tangy feta queso for the ultimate vegetarian nacho platter.

¼ cup rose harissa paste (such as Belazu)¼ cup white wine vinegar2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 tablespoon granulated sugar1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to tastePita Chips6 (7-inch) pita rounds, each cut into 8 triangles1 cup olive oil

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1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to tasteLentil Chili1 small red onion, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)1 medium-size fresh poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (about 1 cup)1 medium-size fresh red Fresno chile, stemmed, seeded (if desired), and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

8 small garlic cloves, finely chopped1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)1 tablespoon ground cumin1 ½ teaspoons Aleppo pepper¾ cup uncooked black beluga lentils (about 6 oz.)2 ½ cups water3 large tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.), stemmed, cored, and roughly chopped (about 4 cups) headtopics.com

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste1 tablespoon fresh lemon juiceFeta Queso¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided⅓ cup roughly chopped white onion1 medium fresh red Fresno chile, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

2 small garlic cloves, smashed¼ cup uncooked red lentils (1 1/2 ounces)1 ¾ cups water, divided6 ounces French goat milk feta cheese, broken into large pieces1 ounce hot pickled cherry pepper slices (about 2 tablespoons)Kosher salt, to taste½ cup labneh (strained yogurt)

Crumbled feta cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, and Aleppo pepper, for garnishDirectionsMake the pickled cabbageStep 1Toss together cabbage and harissa in a medium-size nonreactive bowl until well coated. Add vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and salt; toss to combine. Cover and chill at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

AdvertisementMake the pita chipsStep 2Preheat oven to 300°F. Toss together pita triangles and oil in a large bowl, gently massaging oil into pita. Arrange pita in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with salt. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, tossing every 20 minutes. Add additional salt to taste. Let cool completely. headtopics.com

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Make the lentil chiliStep 3Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, poblano, Fresno chile, garlic, and ginger; cook, stirring often, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beluga lentils and 21/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have mostly broken down and chili has thickened, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, and season with additional salt to taste. Cover and keep warm over low.

Make the feta quesoStep 4Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium. Add onion, Fresno chile, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add red lentils, and carefully pour in 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very tender and begin to fall apart, about 15 minutes.

Step 5Transfer red lentil mixture to a blender. Remove top insert of blender lid; cover hole with a kitchen towel. With blender running, gradually add feta, pickled cherry peppers, 1/4 cup water, and remaining 1/4 cup oil. Process until smooth and silky, 1 to 2 minutes, adding up to remaining 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons at a time, to thin mixture to a pourable consistency. Season with salt to taste.

Step 6Arrange pita chips on a large platter, and drizzle with 1 cup feta queso. Using a slotted spoon, add 2 cups lentil chili to center of pita chips. Drain pickled cabbage in a fine wire-mesh strainer, and season with salt, if desired. Pile cabbage on top of lentil chili, and top with labneh. Garnish with feta, cilantro, and Aleppo. Serve with remaining feta queso. headtopics.com

Make AheadPickled cabbage and feta queso can be stored in airtight containers in refrigerator up to 2 days; pita chips can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days. Reheat feta queso in a small saucepan over low heat.Suggested Pairing

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