While walking in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, Anna and I stopped by a store that was lacking in spirit but selling every spice imaginable from Africa, Central Asia and the Mediterranean. My pantry is stocked up with spices I smuggled from our Tunisian trip, so I was in no hurry to buy curries or harissas. Everything was less expensive than Penzeys however, so I kept it in mind for the next time I would need something exotic for my kitchen. It was only on our way out when I noticed the lavash for sale–at less than $1.50 for about three sheets.
Lavash, or flatbread, is a soft, thin bread reportedly of Armenian origin. I was intrigued by flatbreads because they showed up on every Chicago menu I perused. Having lunch by myself one day at Sepia, I ordered the flatbread of the day which was topped with sous-vide onions. If you don’t make it by hand, flatbreads are so easy to bake with almost anything you have in the fridge. Thinner than pizza and thus cook faster, flatbreads are great for quick lunches and make an awesome addition to brunch.
For this version, I finished the two cheeses I had in the fridge by combining them after grating. I had a lot of fresh vegetables available, but was partial to the spicy arugula for the bite. One time, I made this recipe and topped it with slices of kielbasa and Mangalitsa bacon; another, just with shiitake mushrooms and spinach. Feel free to play around with Taleggio cheese and caramelized onions, too. The fun part is coming up with your own combination.
kielbasa, sliced (optional)
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/2 cup Manchego, grated
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
red pepper flakes
1. Preheat oven at 350º. In the meantime, lay the flatbread flat on a lined baking sheet. Brush with some olive oil. Spread the arugula on one half of the flatbread. Sprinkle with red pepper and a dash of salt. Top that half with the cheeses. Fold over flatbread.
2. Brush the other side with olive oil. Top with kielbasa, or the toppings of your choice, and then with red onions. If you have leftover arugula, finish off with them.
3. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until you see the edges coloring a bit. Remove from oven and let stand. Transfer to a chopping block and slice to serve.