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Crusty Eggplant, Beetroot Hummus, & Avocado Pita (gluten-free, vegan)

Pita bread:
250 g gluten-free flour mix (the mix I use contains buckwheat, rice flour, cornflour, potato starch, and psyllium)
230 g water
5 g dry yeast
4 g salt
20 g olive oil
1 tbsp dry oregano or basil (optional)

Beetroot hummus:
3 small beetroots
400 g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of a lemon
2 tbsp tahini paste
1-2 clove garlic minced (depends how garlicky you like)
½ tbsp cumin spice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crispy eggplants:
2 small eggplants (about 220 g each)
50 g gluten-free flour mix
80 g polenta
2 tbsp oregano or Provence herbs
Optional for non-vegan: 3 tbsp grated parmesan
Pinch of salt and ground pepper
Olive oil
3 avocados
Fresh spinach leaves

Prepare the pita bread pockets: Activate the dry yeast by mixing it with 100ml of warm water (about 40 degrees). Let it rest for about 10 minutes until it starts foaming.

Add flour and salt in your stand mixer with K-beater. Pour in the yeasty mixture, the rest of the water and the olive oil. Mix until a dough forms. (you can also do it without mixer, with a wooden spoon and kneading by hand).

Place a humid kitchen towel above the bowl and let the dough rise for 1h30.

Preheat your oven 220 degrees, leaving a baking sheet inside.

Line your counter with parchment paper and lightly flour it. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces.

Take one piece and make a ball using your hands. Spread it in a circle with a rolling pin.

Place each pita on parchment paper (2 to 3 pitas fit at a time on my baking sheet). Brush them with water and let them rest 10 min.

Slide the pita and parchment paper in the oven on top of the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the pita breads puff (about 3-4 minutes), then take them out immediately. Keep them under a dishtowel while baking the other pitas. After they cooled down a bit, slice them open (half way).

Prepare the crispy eggplants: (I do this step with the pita dough is rising). Cut the washed eggplants in 7-8mm slices, sprinkle some salt and set aside for a few minutes.

Dab the eggplant slices with a paper towel to remove excess water.

In a bowl, stir together the polenta, dry oregano (or Provence herbs) and pepper (plus parmesan, if added, or salt).

Prepare a plate with almond milk. Dip each eggplant slice in almond milk, then coat both sides in the polenta mixture and place slices on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Drizzle olive oil on top of the eggplant slices.

Bake for 30 minutes, 200 degrees.

Prepare the beetroot hummus: Place the beetroots in a food processor and blend them. Then add chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, water and blend until smooth. Add a bit of water if too thick. Chill until use.

Stuff the pita bread pocket by spreading first the hummus, then a layer of sliced avocado, topped with crispy eggplants. Add spinach leaves before serving.

NOTES
With that quantity of dough, I make 5 pita breads.

I used small eggplants which are easier to stuff in pita breads. If you only find large eggplants, cut the slices in two.

If you prepare the crispy eggplants on their own, without the beetroot hummus, add half a teaspoon of dry garlic. As my beetroot hummus was garlicky (I used 2 garlic cloves), I left garlic out of the eggplant coating.

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