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Courgette and Cheese Man’ousheh
Courgette and Cheese Man’ousheh
Middle Eastern
Starter
Over 2 hours
Vegetables/vegetarian
Medium
Serves
4 (Makes 4 15cm Flatbreads)

This man'ousheh recipe from Arabica founder James Walters may not be traditional in its toppings, but it seriously packs a flavour punch. As the chef notes: "Man’ousheh is essentially a Middle Eastern pizza, traditionally eaten for breakfast or lunch. The thickness of the dough can vary from one bakery to the next but the toppings are fairly commonplace. Cheese or za’atar (a blend of wild thyme, sumac, toasted sesame) man’ousheh are the most popular breakfast choices, enjoyed sliced or folded with lashings of creamy labneh (thick strained yoghurt), slices of tomato, fragrant baby cucumber and fresh mint. 

I love the classics in situ and have always been intrigued and respectful of the anthropology of food, but I’m equally passionate about having fun with food cultures, mixing things up and pushing things forward but in an identifiable way. This is a summery rendition and homage to a pizza bianco, with plenty of eastern promise — from the salty halloumi cheese, sprightly zest of a lemon, ubiquitous crunch from the toasted pine nuts, and finished with fresh mint."

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 250g unbleached strong white flour
  • 5g salt
  • 10g sugar
  • 3g fresh baker’s yeast (or 1 1/2g dry yeast)
  • 120ml lukewarm water
  • 10g olive oil 

For the Topping

  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 75g mascarpone
  • 1 courgette, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 50g mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 50g halloumi, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced, optional
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 40g ricotta
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts

To Serve

  • Mint leaves
  • Lemon zest
  • Olive oil
Method
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Method
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, add the sugar, yeast and half the water. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and yeast. Add the remaining water and olive oil and mix again.
  2. Add the mixture slowly to the flour, until it’s all incorporated, stirring in one direction to develop the gluten. Once the dough has come together and is too stiff to stir, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8—10 minutes. 
  3. Clean out the large bowl, wipe dry and brush lightly with oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1½—2 hours, until it has approximately doubled in size. 
  4. Next, preheat the oven to 180°C. Wrap the garlic cloves in tin foil with 2 tbsp of olive oil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, squeeze the garlic cloves from the skins into the oil they were cooked in and mash with a fork. Add to the mascarpone and stir. 
  5. When the dough is ready, heat the oven to your hottest setting, ideally around 270°C. Then gently punch the dough down, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 evenly-sized pieces and work into balls. Leave to rest, covered, for 10 minutes. 
  6. Working with one piece at a time (keeping the others covered), flatten the dough ball out with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough ball to around 15cm in diameter. 
  7. Evenly smear the mascarpone over the flatbread bases, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Cover with courgette rounds, some mozzarella and halloumi. Sprinkle with chilli, sea salt and nigella seeds. Finally, add 3—4 blobs of ricotta, scatter with pine nuts and drizzle over a little olive oil.
  8. Cook for 3—4 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and garnish with mint leaves and a little lemon zest. 
  9. Top tip — I’d recommend buying a pizza stone. Place the pizza stone in the oven before switching on the oven to allow it to come to temperature slowly to avoid it cracking. 

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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