Images and recipes from The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99)
Turkish pide with spinach and aubergine
“Pide (pronounced pee-day) is much like a pizza, but has no tomato sauce and a colourful, aromatic Turkish
flair. Traditionally, this boat-shaped ‘pizza’ is filled with vegetables, spices, cheese and/or meat, most commonly
lamb. I’ve made this one into an exceptionally tasty vegetarian version using spinach, aubergine and feta, but
you can be as creative as you like by using a selection of ingredients to top the dough, as you would a pizza.” p. 143
Time taken 1 hour + 30 minutes rising / Serves 4
7g/¼ oz sachet fast action dried yeast
1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
300g/10½ oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
2 medium aubergines, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
250g/9 oz baby spinach leaves
150g/5½ oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp nigella seeds
flaked sea salt and freshly ground
small handful mint leaves
Put the yeast and caster sugar in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of
warm water. Mix and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture
starts to show some bubbles on the surface.
Put the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Add
the bubbly yeast mixture and slowly add 170ml/5¾ fl oz/2⁄3 cup of
warm water while bringing everything together with your other
hand. If you feel it needs it, add extra water but take care not to
make the dough too wet.
Once the dough starts to stick together, tip
onto a floured surface and knead for 6–7 minutes until you have a
smooth, stretchy dough. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover loosely with
cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the grill to high. Brush the aubergine slices with
olive oil. Set on a baking sheet and grill for a few minutes each side
until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion for around
8 minutes until softened and golden. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook
for around 1 minute before stirring in the spinach allowing it to wilt.
Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.
Heat your oven to its highest setting. Divide the risen dough into four
pieces. Shape each piece into an oval, dust with flour and thinly roll
out. Transfer to a couple of baking sheets and prick the surface of the
dough several times with a fork.
Divide the spinach mixture and aubergines between the dough,
leaving a border around the edges. Pinch the ends of the dough and
roll the edges of the border over the filling, to form a boat shape.
Scatter with the feta cheese, sesame seeds and nigella seeds, drizzle
with olive oil and season. Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes
until the dough is golden. Garnish with mint leaves to serve.
For a meaty twist on this recipe, omit the aubergine, and sauté around 200g/7 oz
minced lamb with the onion, continue to cook as above. Alternatively, to make this
into a seafood pide, omit the aubergine and mix 200g/7 oz cooked prawns into the
cooked onion and spinach before spooning onto the dough.