Flatbread Pizza with hummus, green olives, cherry tomatoes, and za’atar
Za’atar is a ubiquitous Middle-Easer spice blend used to season everything from olives to
meatballs. It is comprised of lemony sumac, nutty sesame seeds and the wild Syrian hyssop
plant, an herb similar in aroma and essence to thyme or oregano. Each country has its own
version, therefore you can find reasonable, pre packed approximations of it in markets ranging
from Israeli to Lebanese. You can also make your own to spec, as with curry = check the Web
for a variety of recipes.
The key to making this dish successfully is keeping the crust thin and crispy, so as not to overwhelm the delicate flavors of the fresh ingredients. This pizza was influenced generally by our love for the Mediterranean and specifically by a flatbread pie with za’atar that we tried at a friend’s restaurant. Its fresh, lemony flavor is a great counterpart to the sweet tomatoes, crunchy fennel and salty olives.
Pulse the walnuts in a food processor or chop into tiny pieces (like couscous), but not completely smooth. Transfer the nuts to a large bowl. Add the squash to the same food processor bowl and grind into tiny pieces, but again not completely smooth. Transfer the squash to the bowl with the walnuts. Add the flaxseed, hemp seeds, salt and about ¼ cup of water, stirring to combine. Add more water until a sticky dough forms = like wet muffin batter. You may need more or less water.
Divide the batter between four 14 inch Teflex-lined dehydrator trays. Using an offset spatula, spread the dough to the edges of the trays. The dough can be a bit gummy and sticky, so it helps to dip the spatula in water as you spread the dough (the excess water will all evaporate in the dehydrator).
Dehydrate the flatbread at 115*F for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. When the tops are dry, flip
them over and peel away the Teflex liners. Dehydrate on screens for another 2 to 4 hours.
Once both sides are dry, slide the flatbread onto a large cutting board. With a large chef’s
knife, cut into 3 by 5 inch rectangles (or whatever size and shape you want). Place them back on
the dehydrator trays and dehydrate another hour or more, as necessary for firm crusts.
In a food processor, add the nuts, lemon juice, garlic, tahini and salt and process, adding water ¼ cup at a time until you get the smooth, fluffy consistency of hummus. You may need to add more water, or you may want to add olive oil for a richer hummus – just make sure it has enough stiffness so it will hold the toppings on the pizza without running off the sides of the crust.
Spread each crust with hummus and top with tomatoes, fennel, cucumber, olive, tapenade, and
olives. Sprinkle with the za’ater and top with fennel fronds.
Process the olives in a food processor. With the motor running, add the olive oil and lemon juice and process until smooth. Add the parsley (if using) and process to combine. Season with pepper to taste. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate. Will keep up to 1 to 2 weeks
Judith can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-939-5495.
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