Turkish flatbread with fresh mozzarella and za-atar greens

By • June 16, 2010 10 Comments

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Author Notes: A friend of mine married a man from Turkey whose amazing cooking got me interested in food from that part of the world. One of my favorite dishes (among many favorites!) is the stuffed flatbreads. This flatbread is a creation inspired by some of Paula Wolfert's recipes and by a za-atar flavored burrata I once had. It's fragrant, flavorful, and wonderfully gooey. When figs are in season, I replace the greens with sliced figs and a drizzle of honey to make a sweet version. I adore both, but I think this savory one takes the cake.fiveandspice

Serves 4-6 as a lunch or light meal

Flatbread dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  1. You can either combine the ingredients in a food processor or mix them by hand in a bowl. First combine the flour and salt, then mix in the olive oil and lemon juice. Pour in the water while mixing, forming a crumbly dough.
  2. Press the dough together into a ball, then knead for a couple of minutes on a very lightly floured surface (if the dough is too dry, add in another splash of water). Divide the dough into two equal sized balls, then flatten each into a disk. Rub the disks with a little more olive oil and wrap them in plastic wrap and allow them to chill in the refrigerator over night or up to several days.
  3. When ready to use, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to return to room temperature. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk into a thin (about 1/8 inch thick) circle. It should be over a foot in diameter. To fill and bake the flatbread, see below.

Stuffed flatbread

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 6 cups spinach (or other cooking green like chard or kale)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons za'atar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
  • 4 tablespoons Greek-style (strained) plain yogurt
  1. Wash the spinach and parsley and cut off the bottoms of the stems. Steam the spinach, parsley, and whole garlic cloves for 10 minutes, then allow to cool.
  2. Squeeze some of the excess water out of the greens, then coarsely chop. Smash the garlic cloves to a paste.
  3. In a large sautee pan, heat the olive oil over medium, then add the garlic paste and Za-atar. Stir for a couple of minutes for the spices to release their fragrance, then stir in the chopped greens to coat with the spices. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the greens are somewhat dried. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Next, assemble and bake the flatbreads: Preheat the oven to 550F with a pizza stone in it. On a lightly floured surface, top the bottom rolled out dough round with mozzarella slices leaving a small amount of space around the edges. Spread the greens over the mozzarella. Dot the yogurt all over the top of the greens, then lightly spread it out a bit. Lay the other rolled out dough round on top.
  5. Pinch and press the bottom and top edges together to seal (it can help to moisten your fingers a bit). Lightly brush the top of the dough with olive oil, and if desired sprinkle with sesame seeds. Make a few short gashes in the center of the top of the bread for steam to escape.
  6. Use a pizza peel to move the stuffed dough into the oven onto the pizza stone (if you don’t have a pizza stone, it works fine to make and bake the flatbread on a greased cookie sheet). Bake, keeping the oven door closed!, for about 10 minutes. The bread will be golden with brown splotches and the cheese will be bubbling.
  7. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve. A chopped cucumber, tomato, and chickpea salad makes a wonderful accompaniment as does tabbouleh.

More Great Recipes: Cheese & Dairy|Rice & Grains|Appetizers|Bread, Rolls & Muffins|Sandwiches

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Comments (10) Questions (0)


5 months ago Jeremy Levy

Made this for a second time now. I used feta instead of mozzarella which came out better in my opinion.


almost 5 years ago Table9

This looks delicious! I love your influence.


about 5 years ago slulibby

I love the look of this recipe--however, I am not sure what Za-atar is. I think from my internet search its a spice blend. is that correct? Is it a specialty markets? I wanna try this recipe!


about 5 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hi slulibby! Yup, it's a spice blend, usually available in Middle Eastern/Mediterranean specialty markets. It generally has sumac, sesame, marjoram, thyme, and oregano in it. If you can't find any, you can make your own (just google it on the internet), and if you can't find sumac, lemon pepper makes a suitable alternative. Let me know how you like it! I recently remade it and used feta instead of the yogurt - because I had some around - and that was super yummy.


about 5 years ago student epicure

this looks wonderful! i'm going to make this tonight, but mixing in some kale with the fresh spinach i have from the garden. can't wait!


about 5 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

It definitely works with kale. I've tried it. It's good with pretty much any cooking green. Let me know what you think after you try it!


about 5 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks guys! I love the idea of sticking the fillings into a pita instead, too. Yum yum.


about 5 years ago lapadia

I just love this method, though, placing one dough round on top of the other, sealing and baking; we have a lot of spinach, garlic and parsley growing right now, so I will be making this soon.


about 5 years ago monkeymom

This looks fantastic! I love the sweet variation as well.


about 5 years ago lapadia

Love it...a few days ago, I posted my pita bread on F52, there are so many ways to use them, thanks for sharing your recipe!