Wow, Friday’s post on Being Vegan in Israel did amazingly well! So many of you read, commented, liked and shared. I’m really grateful that you are here reading and enjoying! I wish I could write like that every time I sit down to write, but that’s another story for another day. Luckily I have other charms, like this recipe!
Children, we are at the halfway point for Vegan MoFo 2013! I have blogged 10 of the 20 posts I set out to write at the beginning of September. Phew! However, this is where it starts to get tricky for me: My kids are now on school vacation for the next 2 weeks in observance of the holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah. If you have no idea what I’m talking about and you WANT to know, I am going to direct you to our friends over at Chabad for an explanation of this holiday marathon. The plan, Stan, is to get a bunch of stuff pre-cooked and pre-blogged in the next couple of days before my husband and I are also on vacation. Then we will be free to travel and be out having fun and not in the kitchen blogging!
Today’s recipe is Lachmajoun, or Armenian Pizza. In fact, whether this dish is Armenian or Turkish in origin depends on who you ask. Traditionally it is made with a ground lamb topping but obviously we are going to let our lamby friends live and make this vegan. I used this recipe from ynet in Hebrew as a guide and it called for fake soy meat. I really had to think about that one. I am not opposed to soy and eat quite a bit of tofu and tempeh, but that fake soy meat stuff, at least here in Israel, is really not something I want to be using, as it is full of soy protein isolate and all sorts of chemicals. So, I thawed a package of my favorite bean-based veggie burgers and used those instead.
This brand I buy made by Teva Deli doesn’t have any artificial crap – I actually called them and went over all the ingredients just to be sure. It is all whole foods like beans, brown rice, quinoa, flax etc. If you can’t get these where you live, feel free to substitute you favorite brand of veggie burger. The flavor doesn’t matter, I had 1 aduki-brown rice-chia burger left and 2 sprouted lentil-brown rice-almond burgers so that’s what I went with.
One other note: The pine nuts are ESSENTIAL in this dish. No substitutions or omissions of that one!
This makes extra topping by about one pie. You could go ahead and make 7 pies, or just save the extra topping and eat it over salad or rice. It is very tasty.
- 1/2kg flour of your choice (I used 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white), divided
- 1 1/4 cup warm water, divided
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 300 g thawed and crumbled veggie burger (that was 3 patties for me)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp Baharat (Arab spice mix found in Mid Eastern markets) or 1/4 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp sumac
- salt and lots of freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup water
- 60 g pine nuts
- corn meal for sprinkling on pan
- chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Make a starter by mixing 1/4 cup warm water with the yeast, the sugar and 2 Tbsp flour. Stir well and set aside to let rise 10-20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the remaining flour and the salt.
- Add the starter, the olive oil and the remaining cup of water.
- Mix, then turn out onto a board and knead until you have a soft, smooth dough, adding more flour if necessary.
- Set dough into a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Saute onions in olive oil until translucent.
- Add tomatoes and cook 10 mins, stirring.
- Add garlic, spices and crumbled veggie burger, tomato paste and water.
- Cover and cook for another 10 mins. Mixture should be fairly dry but not sticking to pan, so keep checking it and add water if necessary.
- Meanwhile, lightly toast pine nuts for a few minutes in your toaster oven until lightly browned (Watch them carefully! They burn quickly and are too expensive to waste!)
- Mix pine nuts into cooked topping mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper, grease lightly and sprinkle with a little corn meal.
- Divide the dough evenly into 6 balls.
- Flatten balls with your hand into 6 rounds.
- Place round on baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil, especially the edges.
- Put 2-3 heaping TBSPs of topping on each dough circle and spread it around, leaving an edge like on a pizza. Don't smooth the top though - you want there to be texture.
- Bake 20 minutes until crust is golden and firm.
- Serve hot or cool on a baking rack and serve later at room temperature.
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.