Back to School

A Pita Party at Your Desk

February 17, 2015

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: It doesn't matter what you have left over from the night before -- everything's better when you put it in a pita.

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What's the best thing since sliced bread? The pita: No more worrying about your precious sandwich fillings falling onto your lap, no more dreading that first bite because you know it's going to be all crust, and no more rogue crumbs rattling around beneath your space bar. Whether you slice it down the middle into two boats or jimmy a knife into the seam to make a small opening, pita is the perfect medium for transforming your leftovers.

To make your lunch cornucopia, seek out your office microwave. Warm up your pita by wrapping it up in a damp paper towel and heating it for a few seconds. This will give it some extra elasticity -- a ward against the dreaded perforated pita snafu. As for the filling, you can stick to the pita's Mediterranean roots and line the sides with creamy swirls of labneh, baba ganoush, hummus, Greek yogurt, and a dash of hot sauce if you're in the mood. Spoon in a hearty helping of tabbouleh, mashed falafelkofta, or Merguez sausage as the base of your meal, then layer on eggplant, chickpeas, roasted red peppers, and feta crumbles. Accompany your meal with a side of tart pickles and olives, then take a bite. Don't be surprised when your fingers move to your crumb-free keyboard and start typing in the words "flights to Santorini."

More: Try your hand at making your own pitas.

But say you have a couple pitas lying around on one hand, and leftovers on the other. Don't be afraid: Bring them together. Have a huge batch of quinoa salad in the fridge? Pop it in. Did you make too much beet hummus the other day? Dollop it on top. Hard-boiled eggs are perfect for this sandwich -- slice them, or add them as an egg salad. Honestly, anything you can put between two pieces of bread, you can put into a pita. You can even make your sandwich ahead of time, provided you make sure that you don't put anything too liquidy in, lest the pita get soggy by lunch.

Have a 3 o'clock sweet tooth? You can even have a pita for dessert. Try smearing on a few tablespoons of almond butter, top it with banana slices, and drizzle with a touch of honey and cinnamon. Toasted, it's a tidy desk snack. With nutella or speculoos butter, it's a sugar-lover's daydream. 

What are your preferred pita fillings? Tell us in the comments below!

Photo by Emily Vikre

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Jenny Xu

Written by: Jenny Xu

Dorm baker and connoisseur of digestive biscuits.