It’s a good day when a package shows up in your mail delivery from Heidi Swanson. Particularly when it is a copy of her new book, Super Natural Every Day. This is really a book that needs little introduction, nor for that matter is Heidi. Her beautiful work and recipes have been gracing the web for longer than anyone even knew what a food blog was, and she continues to be a huge inspiration, to me as well as the rest of the food blogging (and eating) world. I don’t know if I would be doing what I do today had it not been for Heidi. It was her photos that made me really see the visual beauty in food. But even more so than that, Heidi is one of the most lovely people that I know. With her quiet and unassuming manner, you simply cannot help but love her.
The same goes for her new book. Between the pages of relaxed and comforting light filled photos, are recipes that call softly to you. Even before I got the book, I was dreaming of the biscuits with their thousands of flakey layers. I can’t wait to make the soba, the oat cakes, the granola, the not so potato salad. Not to mention the book contains one of the best head notes for a recipe that I’ve ever read… the turnip chips that Heidi admits are “the least perfect chips you’ll ever make.” (but, of course, they are well worth it anyway).
So enthused am I by this book, that I didn’t want to take the time to go to the store to make something from it. Nor did I need to. I had a bag of pita bread left over from a party that sorely needed to be used, and what do you know, the recipe right next to the turnip chips was a recipe for pita chips. As someone who is really not allowed to sit within 2 feet of an open bag of pita chips (or else there will no longer be a bag of pita chips), this recipe is a blessing and a curse. For now, I’m sticking with blessing. At least until I’ve gorged myself on them. This recipe is definitely going to be dangerous.
Heidi’s recipe calls for garlic, olive oil, butter and sea salt, but that’s really just to get you started with creating your own flavors. Like most of the book, the recipes are there as a framework and inspiration for you to make to suit your own tastes (like I think all good cookbooks should). Having been completely garliced out a week ago after making a very potent chimichurri sauce, I skipped the garlic and made one batch with freshly chopped cilantro and salt, and another with sumac and chile powder. I used store bought pita (the thicker, fluffier kind rather than the almost all pocket kind) for my chips, but I think next time I’ll make the pita from scratch again.
Baked up in a 350F oven 10 to 15 minutes until crisp, they are fantastic with hummus or other dip of your choice, or for that matter just on their own. Do watch carefully on the baking… there is a very fine line between crisp and a brick. I preferred the chips that were just a bit golden around the edges rather than dark throughout. Three full sized pitas make enough for 4 as a snack, unless, of course, I am in the house.
By the way, Heidi will be in Seattle at the end of April for a book signing at my studio! I hope you’ll be able to join us to celebrate this gorgeous book.