Sunday, October 17, 2010

PFB #5 | Recipe Remix: Lavash Pizza Four Ways


Several years ago I attended the Monster.com user’s conference in Boston. This behemoth job board’s headquarters now resides in a redesigned textile mill in Maynard Massachusetts. It was a three day event where the participants attended informative seminars along with providing feedback to enhance the user experience and Monster wined and dined its clients.

You are probably wondering, what does this have to do with pizza? For this event, my husband and I stayed at The Westin Copley Place in downtown Boston and one evening we had drinks and appetizers at Bar 10. We ordered the Margherita Pizza with cured tomatoes, pesto and fresh mozzarella. This was not the typical pizza; it was a grilled flatbread pizza which had a super thin, crispy crust that was to die for.























Within a few days of returning home, I set out on a quest to recreate this pizza. My first inclination was to investigate at the grocery store for the flat bread. Instead I discovered lavash bread at my local Trader Joe’s. Lavash is a soft, thin flatbread. It is commonly known as lahvash or cracker bread and is typical in Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is simple bread made of flour, water and salt and rolled very thin. Traditionally the dough is rolled out flat and slapped against the hot walls of a wood oven or tandoor. This method is still utilized in Azerbaijan, Iran and the United States.





















By 997 in the medieval times, pizza made an appearance on the “culinary” scene and during the 16th century in Naples, flatbread was referred to as pizza. One of the most infamous pizzas is the Margherita which was made to honor the Queen consort of Italy by replicating the Italian flag by garnishing the pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Pizza landed in the United States with the arrival of Italian immigrants in the late 19th century in cities with large Italian populations such as San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia. Still today, these cities are renowned for pizza, from thin crust to deep dish pizza.

It has now become tradition in our household that when I make homemade pizza, it is on lavash bread. This crust is thin, crispy and accommodates most every topping and creates a handheld masterpiece. Speaking of toppings, where do I begin? The choices are endless, illuminating and exciting. I often think of new ways to top this perfect platform for pizza. I must admit that pizza Margherita is probably the quintessential traditional pizza with a perfect balance of flavors.

For this challenge, the remaining 72 contestants are asked to put our spin on the same recipe: Pizza. We are given free reign to share our own ideas. Do we try out molecular gastronomy technique? Share a super secret trick? Or re-envision the dish from a different perspective? I wanted to stay authentic to who I am and what I love to make, so Lavash pizza done four ways was my choice for this challenge.























If you are looking for a great entertaining tip – host a “Create Your Own Pizza Party". Cut each lavash sheet into four pieces, set out your favorite toppings and beverages then let your guests get creative. You can host in your kitchen, where typically everyone gathers. Set out plates, napkins and forks along with an area for your guests to prepare their individual pizza creations. Perhaps even have a contest for the most creative pizza. Let your imagination run free.

I have just began to touch the tip of the iceberg with the following four recipes for lavash pizza. Each recipe below is designed for four individual pizzas, by slicing each sheet of lavash bread into four equal pieces. Each pizza will measure approximately 4 by 6 inches and the various combinations are endless. Please sit back and enjoy my four ideas for lavash pizza.























Fresh Figs, Fig Jam, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese Pizza

1 Sheet lavash bread, cut into four equal pieces
6 Fresh figs, cut off stem and cut into quarters
4 to 6 T. Fig Jam
4 to 6 T. Fresh Ricotta
4 slices of prosciutto, julienne slices
4 T. Blue cheese, crumbles

Divide the ricotta cheese among the four pieces of lavash bread and spread evenly to almost the edge. Top each one with about one tablespoon of fig jam and spread. Then top each pizza with six pieces of the fresh fig and top with the prosciutto evenly among the pizzas. Finally, sprinkle with the crumbled blue cheese. Lie onto a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

























Cherry Tomato, Fresh Pesto and Quattro Formaggio

1 Sheet lavash bread, cut into four equal pieces
4 to 6 T. Pesto (handmade or purchased)
20 Small cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 C. Quattro Formaggio Cheese Blend*
4 to 8 Fresh basil leaves, julienned






















Spread the pesto among the four pieces of lavash bread and spread evenly to almost the edge. Divide and sprinkle the Quattro Formaggio cheese blend on each slice, then top each one with 8 tomato halves. Lie onto a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with the fresh basil leaves and serve.

*The Quattro Formaggio cheese blend is from Trader Joes. It is a blend of Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan and Mild Provolone Cheese.




















Wild Mushroom, Goat Cheese, Fresh Thyme Pizza with Truffle Oil

1 Sheet lavash bread, cut into four equal pieces
4 C. Assorted fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut into pieces
2 Shallots, peeled and sliced thin
3 T. Butter
Salt and Pepper
4 to 6 T. Ricotta cheese
4 to 5 T. Goat cheese
4 to 6 t. Fresh thyme leaves
Truffle oil

























In a medium skillet, melt the butter and add the sliced shallots then add the wild mushrooms. Cook on medium high heat until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Divide the ricotta cheese among the four pieces of lavash bread and spread evenly to almost the edge. Divide and spread the mushroom mixture among the pizzas. Add the goat cheese to each pizza by strategically placing small pieces on each one. Lie onto a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with the fresh thyme and drizzle desired amount of truffle oil on each one.


















Fontina, Fresh Garlic and Arugula Pizza

1 Sheet lavash bread, cut into four equal pieces
1 C. Fontina cheese, shredded
4 to 6 T. Ricotta cheese
4 Garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
Dried thyme
Red pepper flakes
2 C. Arugula
Olive oil
Lemon























Divide the ricotta cheese among the four pieces of lavash bread and spread evenly to almost the edge. Divide and sprinkle the fontina cheese among the pizzas. Place the garlic slices among each of the pizzas and sprinkle with a pinch of dried thyme and a pinch of the dried red pepper flakes. Lie onto a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. While cooking, lightly toss a bit of olive oil and lemon juice on the arugula. When the pizza is done cooking, dress each pizza with the arugula salad on top.

It is hard to believe that challenge #5 marks the halfway point of this exciting contest. I would like to take this opportunity to pay homage and express to each of YOU the appreciation for your support through this exciting journey. I would like to especially thank my darling husband Charles for his support, patience and understanding.

The voting will open at 6AM Pacific Time October 18th through 6PM Pacific Time October 21st. 60 Winners will be announced at 12 PM Pacific Time on October 22nd. Good luck to each of the wonderful contestants!











44 comments:

  1. I have had these sorts of pizzas before and totally agree with your assessment of that terrific crust! GREG

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  2. I love making pizzas on lavash bread, especially when you cook it on a grill! Your topping choices are pretty interesting. The mushroom pizza sounds the best, but the one with figs is very visually appealing! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Nicely done, Lisa. It's hard to pick a favorite but I guess the great things is I don't have to. Each pizza offers such a different combo of flavors but they're all elegant and fit for a party. Love that the fig jam made another appearance. :-)

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  4. Perfect for a party! Lisa, I love all of the variations, but you can probably guess which is my favorite: Fresh Figs, Fig Jam, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese Pizza! Mmm, that would perfect for lunch right now!! (and you know I'm cheering you on to the next challenge!)

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  5. Hayırlı haftalar, Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı görünüyor. Ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık. Her pazartesi yayınladığım "bloglardan seçmelerde"bu hafta yemek bir aşk isimli blog yazarının"milföye sarılı tavuk baget ve karışık sebzeli garnitür" isimli tarifi yayınlandı.
    "http://gencalsabahattin.blogspot.com"

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  6. i love crispy pizza dough the best. these all look lovely. good luck!

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  7. Each one of your pizzas looks better than the next one! I really love your idea of a 'create your own pizza' party, and utilizing the lavash from TJ's is definitely something I will use in the future! Great post, definitely got my vote. :)

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  8. I will take one of each please. lovely 5th post for the challenge

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  9. Congrats on being one of the 72 contestants still competing! All your lavash pizza versions look fabulous! I love having make-your-own pizza parties - next time we'll try making them on lavash!

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  10. You don't disappoint. My mom introduced me to lavash bread a few years ago, and I love it as well. I don't think I've been nearly as creative though. The figs are so pretty on this...you have my full support. And thank you so much for your kind words on my blog...they are so appreciated during this difficult time.

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  11. I'll have one of each please !! I love the idea of using lavash , hubby and I love really thin and crispy crusts so this may just be up our alley. Great job and good luck !

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  12. You go girl! I voted for you again. These all look fantastic...I especially like the very simple one that is topped with the fresh arugula (my favorite green). Great job and keep going!!

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  13. Wow. Each of these looks even more delicious than the last. but the fig and blue cheese pizza? Mouthwatering. Nicely done. I voted for you, yet again!

    Best of luck! hope to see us both in round 6! =)

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  14. Lovely pizza's and flavor combinations. Best wishes!

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  15. Mouthwatering. So many of my favorite ingredients in these pizzas. Yum! Great job so far and good luck!

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  16. well done! i love the use of lavash, each of them look awesome!

    Leila @ My Barbarian Table

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  17. What fun! I love all the seasonal variations, especially the fontina one. And really, since the crust is so thin, you can justify eating a lot more pizza :)

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  18. I love Lavash bread, and what you did with them all looks amazing!

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  19. because i like my pizzas thin and crispy, I think your idea of using lavash is super!!!

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  20. Dreamy! Made me so hungry. Best of luck.

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  21. I love figs on my pizza! And truffle oil too. These all look wonderful :) :)

    Sues

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  22. Lovely post, Lisa. And you made four wonderful sweet and savory pizzas. I love lavash, it definitely makes a great pizza base. Well done! And by the way, thank you for your wonderful note in my blog. Best of luck, Lisa.

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  23. I love thin, crispy crusts so these pizzas look totally up my alley. Your photos are totally delicious looking -man I'm hungry now!

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  24. These are definitely great choices...I love this type of bread for crust :)

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  25. These all look so yummy! Beautiful photos.

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  26. What delicious lavash pizzas! I especially like the fig one. Good luck!

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  27. wow awesome pizza's great job and lovely blog, will vote :-) Rebeccca

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  28. Oh the crust sounds exceptional. Great entry! Love your photos.
    LL

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  29. Everything about these pizzas sounds tasty! Excellent work on this challenge, you have a vote from me!

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  30. Thin crust is the way to go, and I can tell because you've represented it so well, here! Voting for you now, and hoping that we see one another in round 6. -Katy

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  31. I love the lavash bread idea! I've gotta run to the store and get some of these. All the pizzas looked so good, don't know which is my favorite! Def. have my vote, good luck!
    -Gina-

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  32. All of it looks so wonderful. Gave you a vote!

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  33. I adore this. Have always used flour tortillas when I want a quick, one-person pizza....now I'm switching to lavash. So creative! Cheers, just voted :)

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  34. awesome combinations and so easy to make. thanks for sharing such creative ideas.

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  35. When I am on a time crunch, I totally use lavash as my crust for pizza. Love all the different combination.

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  36. Loved all your different pizza combinations, and the spin you put on them by using lavash, best of luck in the challenge. :)

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  37. Your lavash pizza looks fabulous... I love fontina and bet that particular pizza was just delicious. Voted!

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  38. Incredible pizza ideas! The Lavash bread simplifies things a bit giving time to focus on what is on the pizza. I'm so glad Boston offered some inspiration for this. We know our food even if most people think it is all chowder and beans!

    Jason

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  39. Its pretty incredible how my restaurant I cook at uses so many of the same flat bread ingredients: truffle oil, fig, fontina, goat cheese, etc. Here's to similar tastes and good luck in the next round!

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  40. Wow, these pizzas all look amazing. I love the flavor combinations. I just added the fig-prosciutto-blue cheese pizza to my "to make" list.

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