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November 2009
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Well it LOOKS like Pizza

Sometimes I have very strange cravings.  Back when I did a semester at Ben Gurion University, we had a Madrich (Hebrew for Counselor/leader) who was an Israeli University student in charge of all the official extracurriculars for our program.  As it turns out, this Madrich was a sustainable garden-growing, home-building, Vegan leftist, Army dissenter and outdoor/hiking obsessive.  He was AWESOME, and only in Israel would such a person be placed in charge of 40 or so impressionable Americans and given free-reign.  I remember on one hiking/camping expedition in particular, when he taught us all how to make flat bread over a fire.  At the time we turned a wok-like object upside-down over a fire, and tossed the simple flatbreads onto that, but this works on/in any old pan…I just don’t suggest you trap a gas range under an overturned pan…that’s how I set fire to a kitchen once.


The other night I was craving this simple flatbread, and I decided I wanted it as pizza.  Only I didn’t want tomato sauce…or cheese.  Middle Eastern flat bread with no tomato or cheese…not pizza-like in any way, except for my head.  And boy did I enjoy it.  The topping was some simple bottled BBQ sauce, with red bell, pickled jalapenos, grape tomatoes, and mushrooms, which all cooked off in the oven.  The flatbread could NOT be simpler, and from my former Israeli leader to me, to you…here it is:

1 cup flour (I used whole wheat this time around)
1 tbs zataar

1. Heat a skillet over high heat. Combine flour and zataar, and begin to add water one tablespoon at a time, until you have a dry but uniform dough. You want this to stay together, but it should NOT be sticky.
2. Press the dough out into a flat sheet with your fingers. It should be just about as thin as you can make it with no holes, and toss on the heated skillet.
3. After about a minute, flip over and cook another minute. Remove from heat and enjoy as you wish.

I’m generally a fan of simply dipping this in hummus, but the pizza idea was great for a more filling dinner.  You can also shape the dough into a small loaf of bread, wrap in tinfoil, and throw directly into a fire, as we did on our night out in the desert.  That one won’t work on a skillet, although you may be able to do it on the bottom rack of an oven…I have yet to experiment with the possibility.    Now that I’m thinking about it, making it into an eggplant “parm” filled loaf might be amazing…I’m going to try that…


2 comments to Well it LOOKS like Pizza

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