Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 24, 2022
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Haloumi, crème fraîche and spinach pizzas

Turkish pizzas are one of the country’s most popular snacks. They are baked in wood-fired ovens, resulting in a wafer-thin, crisp base. Toppings vary from region to region, but the most widely available is lahmacun, which is made with a paste of mildly spicy lamb (known as lahme bi-ajeen in Lebanon and Syria).

1¼ lb. (625 g) spinach leaves, washed

1 shallot, finely diced

1 small garlic clove, finely diced

zest of 1/3 lemon, finely grated

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) dried mint

1/3 lb. (150 g) haloumi cheese, washed and finely grated

¼ c. (60 ml) crème fraîche

sea salt

freshly ground white pepper

1 batch of Turkish pizza dough (recipe follows)

olive oil

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and blanch the spinach leaves in batches. Refresh in cold water, then squeeze firmly to extract as much liquid as you can.

Place the spinach on a large chopping board and put the shallot, garlic, zest and mint on top. Using a large knife, chop and mix everything together as fine as you can get it until well combined. Put the spinach mixture into a large bowl and stir in the cheese and crème fraîche. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you make the dough.

Turkish pizza dough

1 tbsp. (15 ml) dried yeast

¾ tsp. (3.75 ml) sugar

2 tbsp. (30 ml) warm water

5 oz. (150 g) Greek-style yogurt

¼ c. (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

10 oz. (300 g) bread flour

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) sea salt

olive oil

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes until frothy. In another small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and olive oil.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and yogurt mixtures. Use your fingers to work in the flour and form a smooth ball. Transfer to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead on a low speed for 10 to 15 minutes until very smooth and shiny. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Knock back the dough, then put it onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 10 portions. Roll each portion into a round, 6 inches (15-cm) in diameter. Brush lightly with oil and spread the spinach mixture on top. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes (a convection oven may take as little as 4 to 5 minutes) and serve piping hot. Makes 10.

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