When I ran my 2Beans Café, my building was right across the street from the Alexandria Pizzeria. They served breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and their menu included everything from pizza to Chinese food. I couldn’t imagine trying to prepare the large variety of foods they served every day. At that time, they had been in business for over forty years. Trying to figure out how to compete with this well-established food business was intimidating.
The one thing I knew I had to do was to make things fresh and quite different than what they served. Many of the people who came to my restaurant had relocated there from Montreal. I knew their palates would be a bit more sophisticated since they were exposed to more ethnic cooking. But I also wanted to appeal to the taste buds of those who were born and raised in the community. It was a delicate balance.
One day, I saw the package of Joseph’s Lavash bread at B.J.s Wholesale Club. I bought it knowing I might be onto something. This soft unleavened flatbread is a staple in places like Armenia and Turkey. I liked that because my customers enjoyed it when there was a bit of a story behind the foods I served. I liked telling them stories.
Soon I learned how versatile this inexpensive bread could be. After several dozen iterations, I found it was great for making a flatbread style pizza. I knew my customers would rave about the fact it was both low carb and a fraction of the calories of a regular pizza. I also reasoned I could offer a variety of vegetarian options as well. I cut a loaf in half to make a one serving, pizza-style dish. Now I had a menu item that was both flavorful and inexpensive to make. I felt like I’d struck gold!
Finding the right toppings at first was a challenge. Overloading the flatbread with too many toppings resulted in a soggy mess. But once I got the ratio of flatbread to ingredients right, I was onto creating one of our most beloved menu items.
One of our most popular versions of Lavash was made with roasted vegetables with goat cheese. You can use just about any vegetable. I liked using roasted onion, as well as red and green peppers. But veggies like asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms work too. Just about any combination of works. The magic comes when mixing the roasted vegetables in a balsamic reduction. The addition of small amounts of goat cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan offers a balance to the intense flavor of the tangy vegetables.
Another Lavash favorite was made with spinach, feta cheese, and red onion. Or if you’re looking for something heartier, you can add cooked diced chicken, pesto, and red onion instead. I’ve even used this flatbread to make a BBQ Chicken or Margherita style pizza. The possibilities are endless.
This also makes a wonderful and inexpensive appetizer. If you’re making it for a crowd, use a full loaf and double the ingredients. Use a pizza cutter to create bite-size squares or triangles. It can be made ahead of time and warmed in the oven or even served cold. All these years later, it’s still my go-to dish when I have to bring something to a party or make a quick meal. What’s not to love?
Spinach and Feta Lavash Pizza
- ½ loaf Joseph’s Lavash Flatbread
- ½ cup cooked spinach well drained
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
- Sprinkle of grated parmesan
- 1 medium red onion sautéed
- Minced garlic
- Olive oil
- Spread a thin layer of olive oil and minced garlic on top of half a loaf of Lavash bread.
- Sprinkle the well-drained cooked spinach on next.
- Sprinkle the feta cheese, red onion, mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake in the over for five-seven minutes at 350 degrees. This dish is can be made in a toaster oven.
- If edges brown too quickly, cover edges with parchment or aluminum foil.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting with a pizza cutter.