I love Lebanese food and tasted manouche for the first time in Covent Garden the other day with my Lebanese friend Ralph at The Lebanese Bakery which is worth a visit if you want proper fresh Lebanese flatbreads. Manoushe is freshly baked flat bread with Za’atar on it and it’s a delicious combination of Middle Eastern flavours with thyme. The bakery put hummus and parsley, rocket and pine nuts on top, but you can have it as is or dipped into baba ganoush with salad. It tastes amazing with any mezze.
To make the Za’atar:
2-3 tablespoons of Olive oil (I use Verdemanda from Belazu)
6 tablespoons of dried thyme
6 teaspoons of sumac
3 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the dough: my pizza dough
Make the pizza dough first and set aside. Preheat the oven to 250c or 480f then put the thyme in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a powder then mix in s bowl with the sumac, sesame seeds and salt and pepper. Next stir in enough olive oil to make a spreadable paste.
Split the dough into 6 balls and roll out into rounds about the size is a small dinner plate and place on floured metal baking trays, or cook in batches. Spread the Za’atar over the the dough right up to a half inch edge round the sides. I use a big pastry brush to spread it. Roast in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until slightly brown but still softish, unless you prefer it crispy. Serve warm.
I served mine with humus with big sprigs of flat leaf parsley, rocket, toasted pine nuts and flakes of pink pickled shallots. But skies the limit, add whatever you fancy or have it plain.
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