Monday, May 31, 2010

Tunisian Inspired Pizza

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Still working on emptying my freezer, I had taken a pound of ground lamb out, thinking we’d have grilled lamb-burgers for dinner. But we were out and about during the day and had burgers for lunch, so I needed to come up with something else.

Thinking of Tunisia, the country honored by this year’s Memphis in May Festival, I first thought I’d make some sort of pasta sauce, with North African flavors. I wound up, however, using another freezer find, a precooked pizza crust. And the results were delicious.

The recipe makes enough topping for two 12" crusts. If you only want to make one, the leftovers would freeze nicely for another time. Or you could do what I did: I used it to fill rounds of pie crust to make turnovers. I made little ones for appetizers, put them on a cookie sheet and froze them, then put them into plastic freezer bags. They bake quite nicely from frozen. Bigger ones would make an easy supper with a green salad.


2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 lb. ground lamb
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes (I prefer the fire roasted variety)
¼ cup golden raisins
1 tbsp. sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
2 12" pre-baked pizza crusts
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft, about five minutes. Add spices and stir a couple of times. Add the lamb and cook until no pink remains, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes, raisins and sugar, and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread half the mixture on each pizza crust. Sprinkle each with half the feta, then the mozzarella, then the pine nuts. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh mint and serve at once.