My buddy Aaron's family has some really great and surprising recipes. Given that their roots chiefly are Italian, it's interesting to see dishes like quasi-Eastern European cabbage and dumplings and Syrian pizza recipes being handed down through the generations.
I've been lucky enough to be in the kitchen with Aaron's mom on several occasions, and she has taught me how to make a few Brame family favorites. Syrian pizza is not one of the dishes that she showed me how to make, but Aaron talks about it often enough that I thought I had a pretty good sense of how it's put together. I took several liberties with my version, but I really think it turned out great. I even got a thumbs-up from Aaron, who stopped by to try it.
Vegetarian Syrian Pizza
(makes 4 small pizzas)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shallot (diced)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
zest from one lemon (about a teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups mushroom meat (or your favorite crumbled meat substitute)
1 small container 2% Greek yogurt
Place chopped tomatoes in a colander and toss in the salt to coat them. Allow the salt to draw moisture out of the tomatoes; this should take about 10 minutes. Toss in the shallot, parsley, and lemon zest. Gently squeeze the vegetable mixture to release any lingering moisture. In a large bowl, mix vegetables with the prepared mushroom meat to make the topping.
Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush both sides of pitas with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Smear each pita with about a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and top with about a 1/2 cup of the topping. Drizzle each with a teaspoon more olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until pita is crispy.