With NFL playoffs in full swing, I can’t help but think of nachos.
It’s practically tradition. A six pack of Sam Adams out on the porch, friends sitting on couches and nachos being scooped up; most of the time to motion at the television with, when an offensive play goes astray.
But with NFL playoffs are also New Year’s resolutions.
Not being one to tempt you to fall off the wagon, I bring a side dish that’s not a compromise, but something better.
Yes, nachos are a “classic,” with cheese and tortilla chip nestled into one another, but these my friend, have different textures and incredibly bold flavors; a welcomed brightness to a dark-by-4 winter’s day.
Crisp, cumin pita chips with dollops of garlicky hummus, and crunchy, creamy cilantro infused falafel, drizzled with a bit tahini, broken through with bold flavors of spicy sriracha and bite of red onion.
It’s good. It’s really good.
And when you scoop it up all together, it’s like magic. Like Tom Brady magic. Not that I’m biased or anything.
Inspired by No Face Plate
Serves 3 – 4 as a side
3 pieces of pita bread, each pita cut into 8 wedges
2 – 3 tablespoons of mild tasting olive oil
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
Half teaspoon of fine sea salt
4 ounces of hummus of your choice (I used roasted red pepper)
Falafel, crumbled (I used four, two crumbled for each layer)
Tahini to drizzle (optional)
Sriracha to drizzle (optional, but really really good so please try a little!)
Quarter red onion, sliced very thinly
1 avocado, cut into easily edible pieces and tossed with juice from 1 lemon (you can use lime)
A sharp knife
A small bowl
A pastry brush (in dire times I’ve used my fingers, but seriously, please buy a one)
2 cookie sheets (lined with parchment paper, optional)
A large plate
A dinner spoon
A dinner knife (to dip into the tahini and use to drizzle over the nachos with)
Place your oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions. Preheat your oven to 400F.
In a small bowl add the olive oil, cumin and sea salt. Mix till combined with a fork.
Brush both sides of your pita wedges with with the oil, cumin, sea salt mixture then place them on your (lined) cookie sheets.
Bake the pita wedges 12 – 15 minutes, flipping the wedges over halfway through with a spatula/pair of tongs. You want both sides of the pita wedges to be nicely crisp.
When your pita chips are done, it’s time to assemble the nachos.
Take half of the pita chips and place them on your large plate. Add a few dollops of hummus onto the chips with a spoon. Crumble two falafel over the plate, being sure that some fall on top of the pita chips. Drizzle some tahini on top, if using. Add half of your sliced avocado and half of the thinly sliced red onion, again, scattering it over the pita chips. To finish it off, add a couple drops of sriracha, randomly over the nachos.
Repeat the directions in the above paragraph for your second layer (but seriously, there is no wrong way to do this, it’s all delicious smashed up together and scooped up into your mouth). Serve immediately.