Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mini Aubergine and Lentil Pizzas (and fried potatoes)

I thought about calling these mini pizzas "vegetarian Lahma bi Ajeen-but that's absurd. Similar technique though. I'm going to post the dough recipe, and give you an idea of what topping I used, but unless you have plans for a pot of lentils and quite a bit of roasted aubergine, the amounts I cooked will be worthless for just baking pizzas.

I also fried some potato crisps. Nothing special, but I do feel that it is worth noting the potatoes really need to soak in cold water, in the fridge for several hours before frying. They must also be drained and thoroughly dried. It sounds so simple, but dry potatoes, hot oil, and not crowding the pan really are the secret steps to excellent fried potatoes.

For the dough:

2 1/4 teaspoons granulated yeast
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
3-4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Proof the yeast in a large bowl with the water and sugar. When foamy, add the salt and oil. Add the flour, a cup at a time until incorporate into a soft dough. Knead until smooth. Let rise slowly in warm place until doubled. Punch down, and let rise again.

Divide dough into 12 pieces (or more if you prefer smaller sized pizzas). Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Let the rolled circles rise about 20 minutes, then add topping and let rest ten more minutes before placing in the oven to bake. 8-10 minutes should do it, as you don't want the dough to get too dark, or hard. These re-heat well, and are also good served cold.

I topped mine with a combination of roasted aubergine (with cumin, coriander, garlic and paprika), cooked lentils, carrots, red onion and garlic, and some Feta cheese. I also used a bit of summer squash, and raisins...because we like dried fruit used as a savoury. I know, that's strange-but good, really. The aubergine had enough oil and spices in it to keep both toppings moist, but if you choose drier toppings, you may wish to brush the tops of the dough lightly with oil before baking.

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