Middle Eastern Mini Pizzas are a super quick dinner or lunch. They have just a few ingredients and a short cooking time, giving you more time with friends & family.
Middle Eastern Mini Pizzas were something I made up as I went along. I have a confession to make; I have never made a pizza before. Crazy right? I just call up a delivery or run over to the local pie shop and pick one up.
Originally I went into the kitchen to find a quick bite. Inspiration struck though and I decided to hunt through the fridge for pizza toppings. Veggie sausage, check. Spinach, check. Mozzarella & Swiss cheeses, check. Sliced olives, check. No pizza dough though. Aha! Arabic flatbread! That’ll do just fine.
Thank goodness for Trader Joe’s. They are always coming out with new items for me to try. The Trader Joe’s Marinated Olive Duo with Lemon and Herbs are really tasty…if you like olives that is. Two camps there; love them or hate them. You can get the flatbread there too, but I get Arabic Brand Bread from a local Middle Eastern shop. I can pick up Za’atar there too. Za’atar is a delicious spice blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds and sumac. Whenever I’m in that area I stop in to check if they have any fresh hummus.
Middle Eastern Mini Pizzas can do made up anyway you want them. Sprinkle some spices over cooked eggplant, purple onions, mushrooms, roasted peppers, etc.
You can make your own flatbread if you choose:
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- Extra virgin olive oil as needed
- 2 tablespoons za’atar, optional
- Whisk together the salt, sugar, yeast and 1 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit until it begins to froth, about 5 minutes, then add the flour and mix until well combined. (If the dough is very dry, add more warm water a tablespoon at a time to moisten it.) Cover and let rise somewhere warm for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare a grill; the heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the fire. When the dough has puffed up, transfer it to a well-floured surface and knead until soft and silky, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 8 equally sized pieces and roll each one out until it’s about 6 inches in diameter; don’t worry about making these perfectly round, but try to keep them relatively even in thickness. Brush one side of the breads with olive oil and put as many on the grill, oiled side down, as will comfortably fit at one time. While the first side cooks, brush the side facing you with more oil; when the breads begin to brown and puff up, flip them. When the second side is nicely browned, remove from the grill and sprinkle with the za’atar, if you’d like.
You can make this in the oven too by pre-heating to 450 & putting it in for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through or when underside is browned.
Middle Eastern Mini Pizzas have a perfect balance of thin, crunchy crust and a soft, chewy center. if you have two racks in your oven you can make up to 12 of these delicious discs. Pizza party! Have friends over & let them select their own ingredients.
- 4 rounds Middle Eastern flat bread
- 2 veggie Italian sausages - sliced thin
- 3 cups shredded low fat swiss cheese (or soy equivalent)
- 2 cups shredded fresh mozzarella (or soy equivalent)
- ½ cup Trader Joes Marinated Olive Duo with Lemon and Herbs
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 3 cups baby spinach - roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- 4 Tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tsp. fennel
- 2 Tsp. tarragon
- 1 Tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 Tsp.olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the 4 rounds
- Spread sauce on each round to about ½ inch from edges
- Sprinkle one layer of swiss cheese
- Add sausage, spinach, some olives, and the spices/herbs (except parsley and basil
- Add layer of shredded mozzarella and rest of olives.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add basil and parsley to each round and drizzle a little olive oil
I’m going to start adding a little aside here, where I mention what music I’m blasting that keeps me fired up in the kitchen and the words flowing when I’m writing.
Cooking tunes: Los Angeles by X.