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Middle Eastern Style Lamb Pita 'Pizza'

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Serves two to four.

  • by Allison Ehri Kreitler from Fine Cooking
    Issue 84

Use the leftovers from the Braised Lamb Shanks with Garlic & Vermouth recipe to make a richly flavored topping for a weeknight pizza supper.

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for brushing
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped (about 1 tsp.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, roughly chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; more as needed
  • 3/4 cup Pomì brand chopped tomatoes with juice (or substitute canned petite-diced tomatoes)
  • 2 leftover braised lamb shanks, plus 1 Tbs. sauce (from Braised Lamb Shanks with Garlic & Vermouth)
  • 2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more as needed
  • 2 regular-size (6- to 7-inch) pita pockets, split in half to form four thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

Position two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 450ºF.

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until just shimmering. Cook the onion and garlic in the oil with a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 3/4 tsp. of the toasted cumin seeds, the allspice, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook, stirring, until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, pull the lamb meat from the bones and cut it into chunks (you should have about 1-1/2 cups). Pulse the lamb in the food processor until it is roughly chopped, resembling the texture of very coarsely ground meat. Add the tomato sauce, lamb sauce, 1 Tbs. of the mint, the lemon juice, and 3/4 tsp. salt and pulse just to combine. Adjust the salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Put the pita halves on two baking sheets and brush them generously on both sides with olive oil. Position them with the inner sides facing up and divide the lamb mixture among the pitas, spreading it evenly over the surfaces. Bake until crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the pitas drizzled with some of the yogurt and sprinkled with the remaining toasted cumin, mint, and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the remaining yogurt on the side.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 560; Fat (g): 29; Fat Calories (kcal): 260; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 38; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16; Carbohydrates (g): 24; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 850; Cholesterol (mg): 130; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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