Pizza-like flatbreads were being made all over the middle east long before the Italians got into the game. This recipe is based on traditional Armenian version that features a richly spiced topping made from mild, sun-dried chiles and (typically) ground lamb or beef baked onto a hand-pulled dough. Our updated, plant-based version replaces the meat with Longève Original Plant-Based Protein Crumbles, and the dough with store-bought soft flour tortillas. While not entirely authentic, these Lahmajun are a breeze to make and deliver bigtime flavor and plenty of plant protein. They’re great right from the oven, spritzed with fresh lemon juice, and also make a great wrap bread for a middle-eastern sandwich. In Armenia, Lahmajun are often wrapped around a chopped salad of fresh or pickled vegetables and eaten as a street snack. An easy salad of chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, herbs and lemon juice makes a great filling for a Lahmajun sandwich.
* Note: Turkish red pepper paste is a puree of mild, sun-dried middle-eastern chile varieties. If you can’t find it (also called “biber salcazi”) you can substitute a mild harissa paste which will also serve to pump up the flavor and spiciness of the topping. If neither paste is available, you can try your hand at making your own from a mix of mild dried chiles, or simply increase the amount of tomato paste in the recipe a last resort.
1 cup Longève Original Plant-Based Protein Crumbles
½ cup hot water
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ small onion, roughly chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. Turkish red pepper paste or mild harissa paste (see note)*
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. sweet paprika
½ tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Burrito-style flour tortillas
Lemons for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine Longève crumbles and hot water in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Let crumbles rehydrate while preparing the vegetables.
Combine the chopped bell pepper, parsley leaves, onion, garlic, red pepper paste, tomato paste, spices and salt in food processor. Process for 10 – 15 seconds, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, until mixture is smooth. Add rehydrated Longève and olive oil and process for another few seconds to a rough paste. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Topping mixture can be made a day ahead.
Lay two tortillas side-by-side on a sheet pan and scoop 1/3 cup topping on each. Use a flexible spatula to press and spread the filling evenly over the tortilla, leaving a one-inch border. Prepare the remaining tortillas the same way.
Bake in the preheated oven for 6 – 10 minutes. Shorter time in the oven will result in a more flexible flatbread, best used for wrapping around fillings. Longer time will yield a crisp, cracker-like result.
Transfer hot Lahmajun to a cutting board or wire rack to cool. Top as desired and enjoy. A simple squeeze of fresh lemon is all that’s needed to make these lip-smackingly delicious.
Store uneaten Lahmajun in an airtight container for a day or two, or freeze in a zip-top freezer bag for up to two months. Reheat frozen Lahmajun in a hot oven or a dry skillet for a few minutes to bring back to life.