Italian pita toast is a very simple side-dish that's a perfect compliment for several different pasta dishes. As long as you can remember to check the oven often, you will not "mess up" this dish in any way, shape, or form.
- Pita! Depends on the number of people eating dinner, however a 1 pita to person ratio should suffice.
- Butter. Not a whole bunch is needed, so just grab the tub and use as necessary.
- Italian Seasoning. My mother uses Spice Islands' Italian Herb seasoning. I assume not all Italian seasonings are made the same way from each company to the next, so you can use what you like. The Italian seasoning used by my mom contains oregano, marjoram, thyme, summer savory, basil, rosemary and sage. Any combination of herbs should work nicely, so use what you like.
First, pre-heat the oven to about 450°, a little under is alright. Before it gets hot, or before you turn the oven on, move the grated tray, or place a new one, as close to the top of the oven as possible. On the oven here at home, the pita's are about 2-3 inches from the top of the oven. Let the oven heat. I suggest humming a tune or preparing other parts of dinner. These pita's toast up quick, so they should be done near the end of meal preparation.
Dinner's almost ready now? Good. Rip/cut the pita into two pieces, so that you have a pocket. You will then need to rip the pocket in two, so that you have two half pockets (technicly four if you do it to both pita halves). Now, slather the quarter-pitas with butter. Be sure to coat most of the pita in a thin film of buttery goodness, but don't build a large butter layer above the small pita. Place the pita slices on an oven tray, be sure to spray with Pam, or similar anti-stick agent. Sprinkle the seasoning of choice over pitas and stick those puppies into the oven.
What are you doing? Stay near that oven! Since the pita's are so thin, they do not take long at all to cook in the oven. My mother usually leaves the door to the oven cracked at the top so she can peek in on the toasting pitas more easily. They take about a minute. You'll want to take them out when the edges are brown. Too long and you'll have pieces of Italian seasoned char; and no one wants that.
When ready, pull the tray out of the oven and take the pitas off. They tend to be a bit hot at this point, so use tongs if necessary. Otherwise, you'll have to be quick or have some toasty fingertips. Place pitas in a stack on a serving plate and repeat as necessary. This has been one of my favorite foods for as long as I remember. It goes great with tortellini, stuffed shells or many other dishes. Just keep your eye on the oven, so they don't burn, and I'm sure your family will like it too.