Turkish “Pizza” with Dates and Pistachios

Oh yes, this is a keeper!  Spicy ground lamb combined with sweet red peppers, leeks, and dates and topped with pistachios – what a delicious combination.



I’ve had my eye on this recipe in a German magazine for a month or so, and since Kara is here and could help decipher the directions, the timing was perfect.  We ended up not following the recipe exactly – for one thing, it seemed very onion-y so we cut down on the quantity, and we also used a packaged flammkuchen crust rather than making our own dough.  I didn’t know until I looked it up that “Fladen” in the original recipe title “Türkische Fladen mit Datteln und Pistazien” is flatbread, or I would have used pita rounds instead.  The magazine recipe does not call for cheese, but we bought some really good cheeses the other day, and this seemed like a good time to use one of them.

Lamb, Date, and Pistachio Pizza

(adapted from Lust auf Genuss Magazine, November 2011)

  • Your favorite pizza dough, enough for a rectangular baking sheet or medium-large round pizza – or you can use 8 individual pita breads
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced (ours was monster-sized, so we only used half)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ red onion, diced (original recipe called for 2 red onions)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper mixed with ½ teaspoon salt (I used a seasoned salt) and ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz. – you could use peeled and diced fresh tomatoes when they are in season
  • 8 large dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, if desired – whatever kind you like (we used a Spanish manchego)

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan and sauté the leek, pepper, and onion until they are tender.  Remove the vegetables and brown the lamb, crumbling with a spatula as it cooks.  Drain away the fat and stir the vegetables back in.  Season to taste with the cayenne pepper mixture (mixing makes it easier to distribute the cayenne evenly throughout the meat), then add the tomatoes and their juice (if desired, you can puree about half the can first) and simmer for five minutes.

Heat the oven to 450 F. and bake the crust for a few minutes (not necessary if you are using pita rounds).  Combine the pistachios and chopped dates.  Spread the meat mixture over the crust; sprinkle the pistachios and dates over the meat and top with the shredded cheese.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes (individual rounds may need a little less time).

If you have any of the meat mixture left, it is just the thing to combine with a bowl of pasta for a quick lunch (additional dates are good, too).

Tami and Kara

p.s. We took a trip to Scotland, and didn’t even tell you! Worry not, a blog post and a Scottish recipe are coming your way soon. Oh, and Happy Holidays everyone!

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3 thoughts on “Turkish “Pizza” with Dates and Pistachios

  1. Kelly says:

    This looks fantastic! I passed it on to my dad, and he says we will definitely give it a whirl. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Linda says:

    We made it over the weekend-truly awesome! And I don’t eat lamb! We put ALL the filling on a medium sized-round pizza dough and it was a lot of topping, we probably should have saved some of it like you suggested!

  3. Linda and Kelly,
    I’m so glad you liked it! I hardly ever eat lamb either, but the combination sounded really good. I liked it so much I’ll keep my eye out now for other savory dishes with dates and pistachios.

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