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Simple Life, Simple You: Middle Eastern Pizza

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Everyone around the world loves pizza, they cannot get enough of it, in fact, all over the world there are Pizza Huts in different countries and in so many airports. A nice dough that has the right amount of crunch to it, a delicious sauce that creates a barrier between the toppings and the dough, and the copious amounts of toppings that are available, what’s not to love about pizza? Although pizza is delicious, in the end however, it is not all that healthy, especially when you look at the region of the world it is coming from. However, you can make the pizza healthier from top to bottom, when you make it from scratch at home.

That being said, this recipe is lighter, healthier, yet at the same time, indulgent. The dough is very easy to make, for it is known in the Middle East as lavash bread, and it only requires three ingredients. The sauce is made from scratch as well, and it consists of very few ingredients as well. This leaves the topping choice to you to make it completely individual and to your liking.

LAVASH MIDDLE EASTERN PIZZA:

Lavash (Dough):
1 1/2 cups flour (I use gluten free)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tbsp. Olive oil
3/4 cup warm water

Sauce (prepared this a couple of days before, to have on hand):
4 lbs. Tomatoes (ripe)
4 large Garlic cloves
1 bunch of herbs (Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary)
1 Black pepper, Freshly ground
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Toppings (as seen in photograph):
2 small bell peppers (with the multi-colored ones)
2 tbsp. chopped onion
Grated cheddar cheese (make it as cheesy as you like)
2 tsp. peppered flakes (I like a nice kick)

Making the Dough:

In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour and the salt together first, working it through. Then add the olive oil, then slowly add the water in at first. After mixing for a few seconds, add all of the water into the bowl, continue mixing until formed into a ball. ** If needed, add 4 tbsp. water more in to mix it up more.

Separate the dough into small balls, sprinkle some flour onto a flat surface, then start flattening it out. You can use a rolling pin. Once flattened, put the lavash onto a pan that is laced with parchment, throw it into the oven at 400 degrees, for 15 to 20 minutes, or at until the lavash is golden brown.

** Makes 10

Making the sauce:

Take the four garlic cloves, chop them, and toss them into the pot to sauté. Cut your tomatoes into dices, then toss into the pot(blender is a great alternative for those who wish to make this a little faster), and smash them with the masher. Have the pot on medium heat as you begin, bring to a simmer, adding the herbs on top. Place the salt, black pepper, sugar, and olive into pot, place a lid on top, turn the heat down on low, and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. **Add onions or pepper flakes if desired.

If not using right away, let the sauce cool, then place into a jar, and place in the refrigerator.

Putting the pizza together:

After the dough and sauce are done, take one of the lavash breads, and put the amount of sauce you want on it, sprinkle some of the cheese, then add the toppings you desire. Before throwing the pizza into the oven, sprinkle some more cheese on top, then put it into the oven at 350 degrees, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Sprinkle some pepper flakes on top, and serve.

 

**Photo Credit: Loni Hoots

 

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