I know I say this all the time, but this is definitely a new favourite recipe of mine. It’s like asking a parent to choose her favourite child. I love all my creations equally but sometimes they head to the top of the leader board in terms of the favourite dish depending on my mood and foodie tastes for that day. But regardless if it is my favourite or not, I hope that it can become one of yours, because, believe me – you need this dish in your life.
I’ve taken a classic bread dough (which is also fantastic for pitta breads, pizza bases and flatbreads) which is the perfect base for my version of a Pide (a Turkish flatbread pizza) which I’ve topped with lightly spiced aubergine, a coconut mint dip that I lovingly drizzle across the top or dip the corners into (sometimes even a double dip, but we will keep that a secret!) and topped with the most delicious pistachio dukkah, fresh pomegranate jewels and ripped fragrant mint leaves.
I first tasted these amazing Turkish pizzas when I went to Turkey as a teenager – I went for the whole summer with a friend and I experienced so many first’s, so many new’s and so many what if’s. It was actually my first trip without my parents and an adventure I will never forget – but that’s another story, for another time, preferably told over one or two of these delicious Turkish bites and a nice glass of red wine.
But what is a pide I hear you ask? Well, a pide is a Turkish flatbread, that comes in a little cute boat shape. Its baked, packed with its toppings neatly encased inside, in a stone oven, traditionally. Pide can come in many forms and its various varieties are widespread throughout the country and beyond.
The base is somewhat similar to a European style flat-bread, Western pizza crust of Middle Eastern chapati. They can be served simply with a sesame seed-sprinkle or packed with chunky belly-busting fillings. I’ve packed mine with a gorgeous mix of spiced aubergine created using a combination of cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon and chilli flakes, paired with a cooling creamy coconut and mint dip, fresh mint, popping pomegranate seeds and a very special pistachio dukkah.
The flavours and textures in this dish are full of crunch, warmth and freshness. But please don’t be scared about all the different spices that this recipe has, they perfectly balance each other out and means you’re able to easily adjust to your own heat and spice preference. I absolutely love spicy food after travelling around the Middle East for many years, so I tend to always add in an extra pinch or two when I make this dish.
Also, feel free to skip a few of the scarier and more intense spices if you are making this for a family of little ones.
I absolutely love aubergines – in fact my most popular recipes on the blog contain aubergine as either the main ingredient or as a side piece boosting up the flavour profile for the main star. Aubergines, otherwise known as an eggplant is a super simple way to incorporate some bulk or meatiness into your dish, the flesh acts like a sponge when cooked which is perfect for adding extra flavour and juiciness into a dish. And slow roasted allows the ingredient to mellow out working perfectly well with rich, luxurious and decadent highly-flavoured sauces and spices, such as this one.
If you want to make these a gluten-free friendly dish, just swap out the flour for a naturally gluten free one such as buckwheat. You can also swap and change the ingredients around inside your Pide to use up any leftover veggies you have in your fridge. You can use courgette or mushrooms in replacement of the aubergine.
You need a meaty type of vegetable to hold its own and provide some bite in the bread. You can also swap the pistachio’s out for any other nut or seed in the dukkah – and I would always advice making double, because it’s the perfect spice blend to throw into soups, stews, curries and to top salads with. Just keep it in an air-tight jar and keep in a cool setting away from direct sunlight. It’s an incredibly easy way to add texture and a big hit of spice to a multitude of dishes.
If you like this recipe, why not give one of my other aubergine recipes a try? These Baked Aubergines with Lentil Salad, Creamy Hummus and Roast Tomatoes is inspired by a tapa salad and really hits all those wonderfully subtle spiced spots. Fancy something a little heartier?
Try my Roast Cauliflower and Aubergine with Smokey Red Pepper and Chickpea Stewfor the perfect winter warmer and heart-healthy belly-busting dish.
And for something a little lighter, this Roast Fennel, Aubergine and Freekah, Chickpeas and Harissa Dressingticks all the right boxes.
I really hope you love this delicious dish as much as I do; make sure to post and tag with @rebelrecipes #rebelrecipes if you make this dish so I can see and repost your gorgeous creations!
Did you know that I have a new cookbook?
It's called Rebel Recipes and I'm so proud of it. If you like my recipes I know you'll love my cookbook - It took me over a year to develop (and years in the making) and it's packed with deliciously vibrant veg packed recipes!
Here's a sneak peak...
Subscribe and receive a free download of my SuperSix recipe book