Sure, you can buy premade pita chips, but why, when these are so easy to make? Seriously, it’ll take 20 minutes tops, from the time you grab the cutting board to when you’re scooping the golden triangles onto the cooling racks.
Then there’s the flavor. They’re homemade, so you have no artificial ingredients or preservatives. These have a firm crunch but aren’t oily at all, as some of the packaged versions can be. The zatar lends a mild Middle Eastern flavor, but you can use the same technique with any seasoning you prefer. Sometimes we just sprinkle them with a little grated parmesan and a few grinds of pepper.
Zatar spice (sometimes spelled za’atar or zhatar) is a mixture of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt, and is used in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a subtle, slightly smoky flavor that pairs well with hummus. I got mine at Williams Sonoma, but my beloved Penzey’s carries it as well. (No, Penzey’s doesn’t give me a thing; I’m simply a fan.)
Make sure you use real, splittable (it is so a word!) pita bread. Some recipes for pita chips use unsplit pita wedges, but I think they’re too thick, and are too dry and hard when toasted.
They’re great with the (store-bought) hummus pictured below, or nearly any dip or spread.
Middle Eastern Pita Chips
makes 32 wedges
1/3 cup olive oil (about)
2 tsp. zatar spice
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbs. (about) coarse salt
4 round pita breads (6-8 inches diameter)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, zatar, fine sea salt, and pepper.
Cut each pita into 8 wedges (you can stack a few and cut them together). With your fingers, carefully split each wedge apart. Set them, insides up, on a cookie sheet in one layer. You may need to use two cookie sheets or work in batches.
Brush each wedge lightly with the zatar-seasoned oil. Sprinkle each one with a few large salt crystals. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until they’re golden; this will result in a crunchy, firm chip. If you prefer them softer, with a bit of chewiness, cut the baking time down to 7 minutes.
Cool on a rack. They’ll keep for several hours just out in a basket, or can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for several days.