Sample Project From The Flexible Vegetarian

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Turkish pide with spinach and aubergine

Pide (pronounced pee-day) is much like a pizza, but has no tomato sauce and a colourful, aromatic Turkish flair. Traditionally, this boat-shaped ‘pizza’ is filled with vegetables, spices, cheese and/or meat, most commonly lamb. I’ve made this one into an exceptionally tasty vegetarian version using spinach, aubergine and feta, but you can be as creative as you like by using a selection of ingredients to top the dough, as you would a pizza.

Time taken 1 hour + 30 minutes rising / Serves 4

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The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt

Published by Quarto

Whether you’re an occasional meat-eater, a vegetarian who needs to cook for meat-eaters, or even a dedicated veggie, you’ll find something for you in this book filled with delicious and practical flexitarian recipes for every lifestyle from celebrated chef Jo Pratt. Choose between cooking each recipe as a completely vegetarian dish, or select to add one of the simple meat, chicken or fish additions, making them suitable for meat-free days and meat-eaters alike.

From spiced poke to peashoot and asparagus gnudi, the range of international recipes spans the globe and are all quick, simple, well-balanced and packed with protein. As well as easy meat and fish additions and hacks for each vegetarian recipe, this original cookbook shows you how to ace a handful of classic recipes, from the perfect roast chicken, to the perfectly cooked fish fillet. For both health, eco and sustainability reasons, there has never been a better time to join the growing flexitarianism movement and expand your culinary skills.

© 2018 Jo Pratt / Quarto · Reproduced with permission.


Recipe

  • Step 1

    Put the yeast and caster sugar in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Mix and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture starts to show some bubbles on the surface.

  • Step 2

    Put the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Add the bubbly yeast mixture and slowly add 170ml/5¾ fl oz/2⁄3 cup of warm water while bringing everything together with your other hand. If you feel it needs it, add extra water but take care not to make the dough too wet. Once the dough starts to stick together, tip onto a floured surface and knead for 6–7 minutes until you have a smooth, stretchy dough. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, heat the grill to high. Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil. Set on a baking sheet and grill for a few minutes each side until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  • Step 4

    Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion for around 8 minutes until softened and golden. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook for around 1 minute before stirring in the spinach allowing it to wilt. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.

  • Step 5

    Heat your oven to its highest setting. Divide the risen dough into four pieces. Shape each piece into an oval, dust with flour and thinly roll out. Transfer to a couple of baking sheets and prick the surface of the dough several times with a fork.

  • Step 6

    Divide the spinach mixture and aubergines between the dough, leaving a border around the edges. Pinch the ends of the dough and roll the edges of the border over the filling, to form a boat shape. Scatter with the feta cheese, sesame seeds and nigella seeds, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes until the dough is golden. Garnish with mint leaves to serve.

    Flexible
    For a meaty twist on this recipe, omit the aubergine, and sauté around 200g/7 oz minced lamb with the onion, continue to cook as above. Alternatively, to make this into a seafood pide, omit the aubergine and mix 200g/7 oz cooked prawns into the cooked onion and spinach before spooning onto the dough.

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