Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 23, 2017
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Mexican black bean pitas

A spicy pepperoncino is a necessity on the side. As an extra accompaniment, cut leftover jicama into strips, toss them in fresh lime juice and dip the ends into chili powder.

Jicama, sometime called the Mexican potato, is a large, bulbous root vegetable. Beneath its thin brown skin is a white water chestnut–textured flesh with a sweet flavour. Store it sealed in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Peel before using.

For the filling

1 large tomato, cut into ½-inch
(1.3-cm) cubes

1 green bell pepper, seeded, deveined and coarsely chopped

1 c. (250 ml) jicama in 1-inch
(2.5-cm) x ¼-inch (6-mm) strips

¼ c. (60 ml) red onion, coarsely chopped

1 15-oz. (465 g) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh lime juice

½ c. (125 ml) bottled salsa

¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) ground cumin

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 7-inch (18-cm) plain or onion-flavored pita bread rounds, each cut in half

2/3 c. (150 ml) guacamole

shredded cheddar cheese and/or sour cream for garnish

To make the filling, toss the tomato, bell pepper, jicama, onion and beans together in a medium bowl. Add all the remaining filling ingredients and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Split open each pita half and fill with a heaping tablespoon (15 ml) of guacamole. Use a slotted spoon to add about ½ c. (125 ml) of the filling into each pita. Top with your choice of garnish. Makes 8 pita halves.

Variation: Spread the pitas with mustard or honey mustard; omit the guacamole.

Advance preparation: The filling can keep for up to 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.

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