Me and pizza go way back.
I’ve lived in various parts of New York City for the past 13 years, including Brooklyn for 4 of them. New York has basically every kind of pizza you can imagine – from your classic slice joint to artisanal thin crust. From Roman pies by the inch, to surprisingly good pizza for a buck. There are even a couple of bars that give you a FREE PIZZA PIE FOR EVERY BEER YOU BUY. (yep, I know!)
I love pizza so much, but let’s be clear I don’t love it in this platonic ideal sort of way. This isn’t French Metre, where there’s some perfect pizza locked away in a vault that everyone should strive to replicate. Nope, when it comes to pizza I say let your freak flag fly.
Smoked salmon on your Sunday brunch pizza? I’ll have mine Al Fresco! Salad, red onions and balsamic vinegar to make a salad pizza? Sure, why not. DESSERT PIZZA?! Let’s do this!!
So when I saw a quick and easy recipe for what is called a Za’atar Pie, I instantly saw my next pizza creation, and the best part is it couldn’t be easier to make.
Za’atar Pie (really it’s Mediterranean Pizza, but ok)
- 1 Pita, medium sized (about 8 inches)
- Handful of pitted green olives (8 – 12ish)
- 1 oz fresh mozzarella
- 1 tbsp Za’atar spice blend
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Cook time: 10 minutes
Start by pre-heating your oven to 425°. Take your pita and place it on a foil-lined tray, brush with olive oil. Chop up your olives and mozzarella, keeping some pretty sizeable chunks, especially for the cheese. We’re looking for something about the size of playing dice.
Arrange your ingredients on your oil-brushed pita, by starting with the mozzarella. Doing this first will create perfect little crevices for your olives to nestle into, so spread the olives on next. Finally sprinkle your tablespoon of Za’atar spice across everything to get an even coating.
Pop your pita into the oven, and bake it for about 10 minutes. Really we just want to warm up our pita and get the mozzarella all melty and gooey, so feel free to take it out earlier once you’ve achieved this.
Once out of the oven, let your Za’atar Pie cool for several minutes, cut into slices and happily enjoy. Be warned – you may end up eating this whole thing in 2-3 seconds so maybe make a few at once…
Don’t have Za’atar spice blend in the cupboard? Don’t panic! It’s actually pretty easy to make. Although the ingredients can vary, it’s most commonly made from Thyme, oregano, sumac, toasted sesame seeds and salt. So feel free to whip up your own blend. It’s pretty versatile and can be used in lots of different recipes including a spice rub for lamb or chicken, or flavoring your vinaigrette in a Greek salad.
This recipe is great because you can act like a worldly gourmand, but really you just made a super simple (and awesomely tasty) pizza. It’s also a bit healthier than your average pizza, since the pita is lighter than regular pizza dough and olives pack a ton of flavor while still being pretty healthy.
So indulge, enjoy your Mediterranean Pizza with reckless abandon. Za’atar pies are the perfect to whip up a pizza with just a handful of ingredients and just a few minutes.
Not Chef Jared