Sheep's Cheese & Artichoke Lahmacun With Grilled Tomato & Capsicum Salsa
On a recent visit to Istanbul I ate a wonderful lahmacun - a thin-based Turkish pizza - in a tiny restaurant just outside the Grand Bazaar, sitting by the roadside with the wood-fire oven blazing. Topped with soft fresh sheep's cheese, the lahmacun was the best I've tasted.
Photo: Aaron McLean
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- Grilled Tomato & Capsicum Salsa
- 2 red capsicums
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chilli
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped coriander
- Sheep's Cheese & Artichoke Lahmacun
- 250g high-grade white flour
- 200g wholemeal flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons (7g) dried active yeast
- 300ml warm water
- oil for oiling the bowl
- 350g sheep's milk feta
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 340g marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- sumac for sprinkling (optional)
Grilled Tomato & Capsicum Salsa
Place the capsicums directly over the flame of a gas burner or barbecue, or under a preheated grill, turning regularly, until completely blackened and soft. Put in a large bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let them sweat for 10 minutes.
Likewise, place the tomatoes over the flame of a gas burner or barbecue, or under a preheated grill, turning regularly, until charred and softened. This doesn't take long so keep an eye on them as you don't want them to get mushy. Slice in half, and scoop out and discard the seeds. Chop the flesh and charred skin finely. Place in a bowl.
Peel the blackened skin off the capsicums, remove the stalk and seeds, and discard. Chop the flesh finely and add to the tomatoes along with the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
Sheep's Cheese & Artichoke Lahmacun
Sieve the flours into a large bowl then mix in the salt and yeast. Mixing by hand, start incorporating the water until you have a ball of dough. Tip the dough on to a floured board and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. This can be done in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook or a heavy-duty food processor fitted with a plastic blade and processing the dough for 1½ minutes.
Lightly oil a bowl and roll the dough around in it until coated. Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 230°C.
Crumble the feta into a bowl, add the eggs and butter then mix.
If the artichokes are whole, cut each into quarters.
Divide the dough into 4 and roll or stretch out to about 30cm x 18cm canoe-shaped flatbreads. Turn up the edges to form a little lip. Spread a quarter of the filling over each base and top with a few artichokes.
Bake on a baking tray lined with baking paper for 6-8 minutes until golden but still soft. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little sumac if using. Serve with the salsa on the side for people to spoon on to their slices.
Makes 4 to feed 4-8 people.