Flat bread

Crisp bread, melted cheese, sweet onions and salty olivesI adore savoury grilled flat breads. In the rest of the world you can find them hot and delicious under different names: focaccia, pita, lavash. I love the hot, flat Middle Eastern breads that are sprinkled with Zaatar. You can buy this citrusy blend of seasonings in Middle Eastern shops or at Whole Foods. This mixture of sesame seeds and sumac berries also contains thyme, oregano, and sometimes marjoram. It is delicious and addictive. 

 
This recipe is easy. It can be made on any grill, or on a Panini press over a medium-high heat. It’s delicious with drinks before dinner, or with dinner and a salad.  
 
Start with one package of prepared pizza dough from a pizzeria or a grocery store. Do not use a mix or those baking-tube doughs. Preheat your grill or Panini press (I used my Panini press) to 350 degrees, or medium-high.
 
Let the dough rise slightly on wax paper or parchment. Work it with lightly-floured hands. Roll or press the dough in a rectangle.
 
Sprinkle lightly with Zaatar
Then sprinkle with a ½ to ¾ cup of crumbled feta
Add ½ cup chopped black olives 
1 sliced, caramelized onion
 
To caramelize the onions, cook them slowly in heavy sauté pan
 
Preheat
 
Fold and seal the dough
Brush lightly with oil or spray with Pam
Grill each side for six minutes, or close the grill and cook total six minutes. I prefer the closed grill method, as it seals the bread and makes a great golden finish.
 
Sprinkle with a small amount of coarse salt and more Zaatar while warm.
 
 
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Make vegetables a star

Green beans with Maitake Mushrooms and garlicGreen Bean with Maitake mushroom and garlic

Sometimes a good side dish can lift simple meal above the average and make it sublime. This is an element you often see in Asian food where the vegetable dishes are a main event and not an after thought. Delicious and nutritious vegetables can take only minutes to prepare, but ad a lot to any meal. This simple dish uses frozen green beans of excellent quality for ease and availability. In summer feel free to substitute fresh. An exotic, but now easily available mushroom, the Maitake is called Hen of the Woods for its shape. I used an individually package mushroom by Hokto and just had to rinse and trim it.

 Hokto Maitake Organic Mushrooms
Mushrooms are surprisingly beneficial for such a low-cal food. One 3.5 /100 gr. Maitake has only 30 calories. 3 gr. Fiber, 1250 units Vitamin D, 4.8 mg. Niacin, and they are good source of selenium 2.6g. and beta glucans 2.3g. 
 
 
 
 
For 4
Sauté until just lightly brown 1 large chopped clove garlic. Chop garlic very finely and be sure not to burn it.
Add 2 cups of slightly defrosted long green beans you have dried off on a clean kitchen towel.
Sauté for 30 seconds.
Add rinsed and trimmed Maitake mushroom, it will fall in sections as you trim it.
Sauté for 30 seconds and add 2 tsp of your favourite regular or low-sodium soy sauce.
Add a dash of sesame of sesame garlic chili oil and serve.
 
 
 

 

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