My grandmother came to the U.S. from the Greek island of Skopelos when she was pregnant with my father. Every time I go to Greece, I learn more about Greece and my family as well as about food, but it goes both ways: my Greek cousins also want me to make American dishes, which is how this hybrid came about during a recent visit. Ever since we’ve returned from that trip, nachos at my house are always Greek-style. Thanks to olives, garlic, herbs, and roasted red peppers, these nachos have more flavor than the standard, restaurant-style kind.
Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist by Cat Cora and Ann Krueger Spivack; photography by Luca Trovato. Copyright 2010; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
|1/2 cup strips jarred roasted red pepper or 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, for the Roasted Red Pepper Salsa||2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese|
|1 teaspoon minced garlic, for the Roasted Red Pepper Salsa||1 cup mild feta cheese, crumbled|
|Kosher salt, for the Roasted Red Pepper Salsa||1/2 cup thinly sliced pepperoncini|
|1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, for the Roasted Red Pepper Salsa||1/2 cup pitted and sliced green Greek olives (such as Mt. Athos)|
|1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, for the Roasted Red Pepper Salsa||1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes|
|2 6-ounce bags pita chips||1/2 cup nonfat Greek-style plain yogurt (such as Fage)|
For the salsa: Chop the peppers and mix in a small bowl with the garlic, a pinch of salt, and the oregano. Stir in the olive oil. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes to meld the flavors. (The salsa can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.)
For the nachos: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the salsa from the fridge.
Spread the pita chips in a single layer on a baking sheet or a large heatproof platter. Sprinkle both cheeses evenly over the chips. Scatter the pepperoncini over the cheese. Bake the chips just until the cheese is melted, 7 to 10 minutes. Scatter the olives and cherry tomatoes over the chips. Spoon some of the salsa on the nachos and dab on small dollops of yogurt. Serve the nachos right away with the remaining salsa on the side for dipping.
Twist it with a Smooth Salsa: Chop the garlic and oregano coarsely and add them, with the roasted pepper and a pinch of salt, to a food processor. Pulse until pureed. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and puree until completely smooth. Scrape the puree into a small bowl and mix in the yogurt until blended. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Drizzle over the prepared nachos in a lattice pattern.
Note: If your food processor is larger than 1 quart, you may need to double the salsa ingredients; serve any leftover salsa with eggs or grilled meat the next day.
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