Recipe of the Week: A Turkish flatbread filled with corn, feta and spinach
Baking becomes less appealing when the weather starts to creep into triple digits, but that doesn't mean you can't make flatbreads in a hot cast iron skillet.
Gözleme is a popular Turkish flatbread that you can fill with just about anything, and the best part, especially this time of the year, is that you can cook them on a hot pan. David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, the authors of "Little Green Kitchen: Simple Vegetarian Family Recipes" (Hardie Grant, $29.99), suggest a Scandinavian twist by using rye flour instead of all-purpose, and the filling can be made with whatever summer produce you might have in your kitchen. You could also use leftovers, including finely chopped meat.
Don't fuss over the shape of the rolled-out dough, though. Some gözleme are half-moon shaped, while others are squares and rectangles. The shape is less important than what you put inside, and that's also up for interpretation, making this an easily customizable, kid-friendly alternative to quesadillas.
Rye Gözleme with Corn and Avocado Dip
This is a Scandinavian take on a Turkish flatbread where we use a cultured buttermilk and rye flour to create a tangy and wholesome bread that can be ready within minutes. It’s fried in a pan and folded over a simple corn, spinach and feta filling that melts inside. You can replace the corn with black beans to make the filling even more nourishing and use any tangy yogurt instead of buttermilk. If you prefer, you can use this with white or a combination of white and whole wheat flour. If you want to get the kids involved, ask them to help shuck the corn or roll out the dough with a rolling pin, and you can add a finely chopped pepper to the corn if you want a spicy filling.
— David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
For the flatbread:
1 1/2 cups light rye flour
1/2 cup cultured buttermilk or plain unsweetened Turkish or Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the filling:
2 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (from about 2 cobs), rinsed
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1 cup feta, crumbled
For the avocado dip:
2 avocados, pit removed and flesh scooped out
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons water
A pinch sea salt
Add half the flour to a medium-sized bowl along with all of the buttermilk or yogurt, the baking powder and sea salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir the ingredients into a dough, sprinkling over a handful more flour as you go. Use your hands to make it come together into a ball that can be shaped easily. If it feels too sticky, simply sprinkle with a little extra flour. Divide the ball into four equally sized pieces. Put a cloth over the bowl and let the dough rest while preparing the filling.
Add half of the oil to a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat. Add the corn and let it get some color for a few minutes before adding the spinach. When the spinach has wilted, scoop it into a bowl and crumble over two-thirds of the feta. Clean out the pan with a paper towel.
Add the remaining feta to a food processor along with the avocado, lime juice, water and salt. Mix until smooth, then scoop into a small bowl.
Sprinkle your surface with the remaining flour and flatten out the dough balls into medium-thin discs using a floured rolling pin. Heat the frying pan until medium hot and brush it with olive oil. Place two of the flatbreads in the pan, add a scoop of the filling and immediately fold them into half moons. Give the edges a light squeeze with a spatula to close them. Let fry on one side for about two minutes, or until charred, then carefully flip them and fry for another minute, brushing the bread with extra oil if they look dry. Repeat with the remaining two flatbreads. Cut each flatbread into triangles and serve with avocado dip and a side salad. Serves 4.
— From "Little Green Kitchen: Simple Vegetarian Family Recipes" by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, $29.99)