Lebanese calzone – Lentils, parsley and feta folded pizza

6 Dec

Man Woman likes to debate what our favourite cuisine may be (for, indeed, the independence of our individual tastes has crumbled over the last few years, the only difference now being Man’s persistent love of a veggie fry-up breakfast). This debate is moot. The Turks. The Italians. The Viets.  We love them each in their own special way.

This dish here would be called ‘fusion’ if it wasn’t so rustic and the word ‘fusion’ wasn’t so simultaneously pretentious and out-dated. It combines my memories of massive dinners at Lebanese friends’ houses back in Sydney, when the delicious spinach and onion triangles would get inhaled by any who dared tread near. Saving ourselves the hassle that so many Lebanese ladies throughout the centuries have endured of making endless tidy little parcels, we decided we’ll big it up. Go calzone size and also throw a bit more beefiness in it to make it a substantial meal. Substantial it was. It was also darn tasty. How can the cross-breeding of two Mediterranean dishes ever go wrong?

What I love particularly about Lebanese cuisine is the appreciation for parsley as a flavour. Don’t knock it and don’t you dare scrimp on the parsley outlined below. This herb is not to be mistaken for a garnish.

Lentil, feta and parsley stuffing (serves 6)

  • 2.5 C cooked lentils
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 150g ricotta
  • 200g feta
  • 1.5 C chopped parsley
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 3 TBSP raisins
  • 1 TBSP dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 TBSP lemon juice (to taste)
  • ground black pepper
  • salt
  • toasted pine nuts (if desired)

Calzone dough recipe

Soak and cook beans (probably about 1 cup of dried lentils will make 2.5 cups of cooked). Prepare pizza dough.

In a small pot, cook diced onions until softened. Add garlic, cook for another two minutes, then add lentils, stir through for a minute and add all three kinds of tomato (paste, dried and tinned).

Add herbs and spices and cook over a medium-high heat until there isn’t much liquid left. Take off the heat and let cool slightly. Mix in ricotta, feta and chopped parsley. Let cool.

Take a handful of the prepared pizza dough, and spread out into a 20cm circle. On one half of the circle, lay out a few good wooden spoonfuls of the lentil-feta mix. Fold the clear half over the half with the mix on it and seal shut.

Cook in an oven at 200C for about 25 – 30 minutes or until calzone dough is hard.

Estimated cost: £4.50

Musical accompaniment: Freelance Whales


One Response to “Lebanese calzone – Lentils, parsley and feta folded pizza”

  1. thesaltedtomato December 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Ooh, this looks so good! I will have to try!

    Thanks for sharing.

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