The holidays may be peak season for elaborate, tradition-steeped dishes, but they are also a time when most of us feel overwhelmed and could use something fast and fabulous to take the edge off the stress of entertaining. This finger food answers that call beautifully, and it’s healthful, to boot.
It flashes with festive color, with creamy white goat cheese on crispy shards of pita that become a canvas for a confetti of ruby-red pomegranate seeds, green pistachios and mint: ingredients that give you creamy, crunchy, fruity, fresh, sweet and savory at once in each bite. Making the pita toasts requires minimal effort from start to finish, and it’s something you can pull together at a moment’s notice because you can prep most of the elements several days in advance.
To make the toasts, you slice whole-grain pita into rounds, brush them with olive oil, cut them into wedges and bake just until crisped. Making them at home this way yields a top quality, ultrathin, crisp whole-grain chip, but store-bought pita chips would work if need be; just get the unsalted variety.
You can also take advantage of another healthful convenience option and pick up a container of pomegranate seeds (arils) rather than deal with the whole fruit. Toast and chop the pistachios ahead, and mix the honey-lemon drizzle; all you need to do once guests arrive is chop some mint, spread, sprinkle, drizzle and serve.
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The combination of colorful ingredients in this festive finger food is as tasty as it is attractive. But the real beauty of the dish is that nearly all the ingredients can be prepped in advance, so it can be pulled together at a moment’s notice, making entertaining a breeze.
Feel free to substitute store-bought, unsalted baked pita chips, if you prefer.
MAKE AHEAD: The pita toasts can be baked, cooled and stored in an airtight container at room temperature a day in advance.
From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.
Goat Cheese Pita Toasts with Pomegranate, Pistachio and Mint
1 1/2 tablespoons shelled, unsalted pistachios
2 whole-wheat pitas, about 6 inches in diameter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 ounces plain fresh goat cheese (chevre), at room temperature
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pistachios on a small baking sheet and toast for 7 to 8 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, slice the pita pockets in half so each forms 2 rounds (for a total of 4 rounds). Place the pita rounds on a cutting board and brush them with oil. Cut each round into 6 wedges, to create a total of 24 wedges. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake for 5 or 6 minutes, until crisped and browned. Let cool completely.
Stir together the honey and lemon juice in a small bowl.
When you’re ready to serve, spread goat cheese on all of the toasted pita wedges, arranging them on a serving platter as you go. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, mint and pistachios, then drizzle with the honey-lemon mixture and serve.
Nutrition per serving: 130 calories, 5 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar