Lahmajoun with Mediterranean Salad

lahmajoun Armenian PizzaMy dad did a fair amount of the cooking in our house when I was growing up. He liked  and would cook dishes from many different countries. On the nights he was cooking, it was a fair bet we’d be eating something we’d never had before. It was always an adventure.

One evening as he was unpacking the groceries, he announced (with a mischievous smile) that he was going to make Lahmajoun with Mediterranean Salad. We said “La ma what?” To which he said “Armenian pizza. You’ll love them!” He held out an apron and said “Here, you can give me a hand”.

The lamb, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs and spices smelled delicious. We made the Mediterranean Salad while they were in the oven and devoured everything with gusto. Good stuff!

The original recipe includes making your own dough for the crispy, thin crust pizza bases, but when you don’t have the time for that (and who does), many people use flour tortillas. They turn out thin and crispy just like the original recipe.

FYI Lahmajoon is pronounced “lah-mah-dzoon“. The “j” is pronounced like the French “j” in “jeune”. You’ll find it spelled many different ways, including lamajune and lahmajoun.

Here are the Lahmajoun and Mediterranean Salad recipes. Enjoy!

1 pound lean ground lamb, beef or a mix of both
1 cup finely onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablepoon garlic, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes, drained
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper
4 large flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Chop the vegetables.
Cook the ground lamb in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it into small pieces until mostly browned.
Drain away the rendered grease.
Add the chopped onion, green pepper, and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.
Stir in the drained, diced tomatoes and tomato paste, and then the parsley, basil, mint, cumin, and cayenne.
Simmer for about 5 minutes and take off the heat.
The mixture should be moist, but not runny.
Place the large tortillas on a baking sheet.
Distribute the lamb mixture evenly over the tortillas, spreading it all the way out to the edges.
Bake for about 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove from the oven, cut into quarters, and serve.
Makes 4 Lahmajoun.

Mediterranean Salad
Salad Ingredients:
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled and sliced into quarters
3 ripe roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small jar of quartered artichoke hearts
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup Kalamata olives, drained
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Peel and slice cucumbers, chop tomatoes, quarter artichoke hearts, slice onion thinly, drain olives, and crumble feta cheese.
In a large salad bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, artichokes, and olives.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
Season the salad with salt and black pepper to taste.
Sprinkle feta cheese over all and serve.
Recipe serves 4.

What are your family’s favorite world cuisine recipes?

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