Until I tried this pizza, my favourite was definitely a classic thin crust margherita with lots of fresh basil. But now, I’m not so sure – this was so unlike any pizza I’ve ever tasted. No cheese, no tomato sauce, plenty of delicious. Looks like the simple margherita has some competition…complex, smoky, spicy competition!
We tried out a few different fresh garnishes for contrast with the richness of the lamb – parsley, yogurt, lime and tomato. A squeeze of citrus and a few cherry tomatoes was my favourite combo. And now for the details, over to Tim!
I watch a lot of cooking shows and read a lot of cookbooks, and I’d say I generally have a bigger interest in the skills and the technique of good food than I do in stuffing my face. That is until I read or hear two words – spiced lamb.
The first word doesn’t even convey a specific flavour – but it doesn’t matter. If it is spiced and it is lamb, I’m in. So when I discovered that there is a pizza-like dish featuring spiced lamb, I had give it a try.
Turkish Pizza or Lahmacun
Serves 4 to 6 people
pizza dough (see anywhere for a recipe – I’ll be posting my favourite soon)
4 cloves of chopped garlic
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup of red or yellow pepper (or both)
1 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tomatoes, halved
1 pound lean ground lamb
1/4 cup tomato paste
chilli flakes to taste
salt to taste
Throw everything except for the lamb into a food processor. Blend until it is almost, but not quite, a puree – you still want a bit of texture. Heat a pan on medium heat with some oil. Add the lamb and the blended mixture to the pan. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on medium – stir often.
Put the mixture into a bowl to cool. This is best made a day before to let all the flavours mix together, but who has time for that. Once it is cooled enough to handle, heat your oven to 500°F.
Roll out your dough and lightly brush with some oil. Pack the cooled mixture onto the dough. I would go for about a 1/4″ thickness, maybe a little less. Throw it into the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove and enjoy with some yogurt, parsley and a squeeze of lime.