Pizza is not exactly a Middle Eastern staple, I admit. But when you're used to cooking with Middle Eastern ingredients and spices, it's easy enough to create a little fusion. And while this pizza may look like the Italian flag, it's flavors and ingredients are firmly rooted in the Middle Eastern kitchen.
Pita bread or naan makes an easy substitute for standard pizza dough and gives you the crunchy, thin crust effect of a New York style pizza. If baking hummus in the oven sounds strange to you it's only because you haven't tried it. Fresh tomatoes are my preference on pizza anyway because I think they give so much more flavor than sauce. Gooey mozzarella cheese is nice but sharp, tangy feta is so good. The green comes not from basil, although I love it dearly, but from baby spinach leaves. I'm actually a little obsessed with baby spinach anyway and it's my favorite salad green. And finally, with all due respect to oregano, za'atar is everything!
I know most of us buy our pita bread in the supermarket but I encourage you to either make your own or find it at a local bakery or ethnic grocer. It's less dry, much fluffier and way more flavorful. If you can't find fresh pita but you can find naan, do use that. I personally love naan just as much.
As it happens, in my neighborhood I can find fresh baked pita bread at an Italian gourmet store. And I certainly accept that as proof positive that pita should be made into pizza! I've been loving this for lunch lately because it's so quick to make, smells heavenly while it's baking and is actually quite a bit lighter than standard pizza. One nice big pita round gives me my own personal sized pizza and, if I'm especially hungry, I might have a little extra spinach on the size and drizzle it with a lemon tahini sauce. My baby spinach crush usually includes the tahini as a dressing. Enjoy!
- 1 Round of pita bread or naan bread
- 2 Tablespoons hummus
- 2 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 1 Tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/2 Cup baby spinach leaves, rough chopped
- 1/4 Teaspoon za'atar
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spread the hummus evenly on the pita or naan bread. Sprinkle on the tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese and za'atar. Place the pizza on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the bread is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the chopped spinach.