Spiced cod flatbreads with preserved lemon and avocado salsa, pul biber onions and harissa lime yoghurt
A vibrant dish of aromatic spiced cod with fragrant yoghurt and zesty salsa all wrapped up in a crisp, garlicky flatbread. The flavours going on here are insane. Zesty freshness from the lemony salsa, velvety cod in delicate spices, garlicky charred bread, zingy crunchy onions, creamy avocado, peppery heat, I could go on but I won’t hold you from the recipe any longer. This takes a bit of time to prepare as there are a few stages but it is in no way difficult and the result is so worth it!
You can use turmeric powder if you can’t find fresh turmeric root but it is quite readily available in most large supermarkets and gives a beautiful flavour, not to mention the health benefits.
Similarly, you can substitute paprika for the Aleppo pepper but if you can, try and source it as it has a mild fruitiness that is particularly tasty in this dish.
For the spiced cod:
2 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
2 inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
300g cod loin, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
For the flatbreads:
30g/1oz unsalted butter
175g/6oz plain flour
100ml/3½fl oz semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp garlic granules
1 tbsp olive oil
For the harissa and lime yoghurt:
280g Greek-style yoghurt
1 heaped tbsp rose harissa
1 lime, zest and juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salsa:
small handful dill, roughly chopped
4 preserved lemons, deseeded and very finely chopped
1 tbsp barberries (optional)
½ ripe avocado, finely diced
2 tsp nigella seeds
For the pul biber onions:
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 heaped tsp of pul biber/Aleppo pepper chilli flakes
To make the spiced cod, mix 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt with the turmeric and crushed garlic. Season well with salt and pepper and marinate the cod for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the flatbreads, melt the butter and combine with the remaining ingredients, except for the oil. Mix until a firm dough has formed. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
To make the salsa, mix the ingredients together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make the pickled onions, combine all the ingredients in a plastic container with a lid. Put the lid on and shake until the onions lose their rigidity. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make the harissa and lime yoghurt, mix everything together, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Divide the dough into four and roll into thin rounds. Preheat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Brush the hot pan with the oil and grill the flatbreads for about 45–60 seconds on each side until lightly browned.
To make the cod, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the cod and brown on all sides until just cooked through.
To serve, divide the cod between 4 flatbreads and dollop a generous amount of the yoghurt on top. Add the salsa, some onions and sprinkle over extra Aleppo chilli flakes or nigella seeds.
Nduja (pronounced en-du-ya) is a spicy spreadable Italian salami. It’s available from delicatessens and specialty grocers. Some supermarkets stock it too. If you can’t find it, you can substitute with finely chopped spicy salami. It has a lovely chilli kick and the oozy mozzarella adds a creamy respite to create a variety of flavours in your mouth.
Gozleme is a Turkish flatbread that is cooked on the griddle. Traditional fillings include minced meat, spinach and white cheese such as feta but I am slightly obsessed with nduja at the moment. Feel free to add what you like.
This is a really simple and tasty recipe that is fairly quick to put together. Making your own dough to encase a warm, spicy, gooey filling is definitely worth the little extra effort.
This recipe makes 6 breads but can easily be divided for fewer.
600g plain flour
80ml extra virgin olive oil
95g Natural Greek-style yoghurt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
240g Grated vintage cheddar
300g Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling
Lemon wedges, to serve
Place the flour, oil, yoghurt, water, oregano and salt in a large mixing bowl and knead to combine for 3–4 minutes or until smooth. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2–3 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place in a large lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat a lightly greased char-grill pan or barbecue to high heat. Divide the dough into 6 portions. Place each portion on a lightly floured surface and roll into 20cm x 28cm ovals.
With the shorter ends facing towards you, spread the bottom half of the ovals with the nduja and sprinkle with the cheddar and mozzarella, leaving a 2cm border. Fold the top half of the dough over and press the edges to seal.
Brush the gozleme with the oil and cook, in batches, for 2–3 minutes or until charred. Turn over and cook for a further 1–2 minutes or until charred and cooked through. Sprinkle with pepper and serve with lemon wedges.
These flatbreads are stuffed with salty cheese, garlic, coriander and parsley before being griddled on the barbeque for a brilliant smoky flavour.
Suluguni is a stringy, salty cheese from Georgia; it’s not easy to find (try Russian delis), but it has a special stretchy texture and makes a welcome change from ubiquitous halloumi. I have used halloumi in the image shown which has a wonderful savoury saltiness.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g suluguni or halloumi cheese, roughly chopped
50g fresh coriander – stalks and leaves
50g parsley – stalks and leaves
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1½ lavash flatbreads, about 30cm x 50cm (or use 6 flour tortillas)
Lemon juice to serve
Put the garlic, cheese and herbs in a food processor and whizz to a paste. Season to taste.
Cut the whole lavash into quarters and cut the half lavash in half to give 6 pieces. Divide the filling among the flatbread pieces or tortillas then fold into parcels.
Wrap the parcels individually in lightly oiled foil, pop them on the barbecue and cook for about 10 minutes. The filling will melt inside. Alternatively, heat the foil parcels in a dry frying pan for a few minutes each side or brush the unwrapped breads with sunflower oil and cook in a griddle pan over a high heat or under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden.
Some meals just demand bread. For me, the idea of a barbecue without bread is like a celebration without champagne. Bread has the ability to “wrap” and hold the flavours and juices of grilled vegetables and meats so well: very helpful when the dry heat of the grill or oven has evaporated moisture from the flesh. To counteract that, the use of a sauce, such as yoghurt and mint, plus a swaddling with a bread wrap will rescue your meat or veg from drying further.
This is a long dimpled spongey flatbread that’s a little like Iranian barbari bread. I’ve packed it with yoghurt to boost the flavour, helping it to colour ultra-fast in the oven and so keeping it soft. Give yourself 2-3 hours and drape a dry cloth over it while it cools to keep it soft.
Makes 2 large flatbreads.
175g low-fat yoghurt
250ml warm water
7g sachet fast-action yeast
400g strong white flour
100g wholemeal or spelt flour
2 tsp salt
Olive oil, for kneading and shaping
Nigella seeds, to finish
Put the yoghurt in a bowl, add the warm water (very warm if the yoghurt is fridge-cold) and stir until smooth. Mix in the yeast, then let it sit for a few minutes to dissolve.
Add the two flours and salt, then mix evenly to a very sticky dough. Cover the bowl, leave for 10 minutes then rub oil on a worktop and scrape the dough out on to it. Oil your hands well, then fold the dough in on itself about 6-8 times and put it back in the bowl, cover and leave for 30 minutes.
Oil the worktop again, lift the dough on to it then dimple it out into a rectangle. Fold the dough in by thirds then place it back in the bowl. After another 30 minutes, repeat this stretch and fold, then return the dough to the bowl and leave for another 30 minutes.
Place the dough back on the oiled worktop and with a dimpling action stretch it out into a rectangle. Cut the dough in half then fold the edges of each dough piece inward so they form neat rectangles. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper, then flip the dough pieces on to it so they sit side by side. Don’t worry that they don’t fill the tray yet as we’ll fix that later. Leave the dough uncovered for 30 minutes, and heat the oven to 180C fan.
To bake, stretch the dough pieces out by getting your fingers right underneath each rectangle and pulling them outwards. Oil the top of the dough, and run 3 or 4 fingers over the length of each rectangle so grooves form, then sprinkle lightly with seeds. Leave to rise another 15 minutes then bake for about 25 minutes until golden.
To serve, leave to cool then slice the dough lengthways and serve with grilled meat and a little yoghurt mixed with fresh chopped mint.
Bread that requires no kneading, no waiting to rise and takes just minutes to cook? Oh yes! And the garlic and herb butter is uber simple and tastes amazing. This bread goes so well with so many dishes. Bubbly, charred, light and fluffy bread covered with garlicky, buttery yumminess. No need to thank me.
For the flatbreads:
350g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
350g natural yoghurt
For the garlic and herb butter:
2 cloves of garlic
a bunch of fresh soft herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil, dill
40g unsalted butter
A pinch of salt
Add all the flatbread ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon and then use clean hands to pat and bring everything together.
2. Dust a clean work surface with flour and then tip out the dough.
3. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together (this isn’t a traditional bread recipe, so you don’t need to knead it for long – just enough time to bring everything together).
4. Put the dough into a floured-dusted bowl and cover with a plate, then leave aside.
5. For the garlic butter, peel the garlic cloves and grate them finely.
6. Pick the herb leaves onto a chopping board and finely chop them, discarding the stalks.
7. Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then stir through the garlic and chopped herbs and set aside.
8. Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough in half and then divide each half into 6 equal-sized pieces (roughly the size of a golf ball).
9. With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick.
10. Use a knife to cut 6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving about 3cm at each end.
11. Place a griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs.
12. Brush the flatbreads all over with herby garlic butter as they come off the griddle, then pile onto a serving board so everyone can dig in and help themselves.
Tip: If you don’t need so many breads or you need even more, the great thing about this recipe is you use half the yogurt to half the flour so adjust the weight accordingly. 100g each of yoghurt and flour will give you 2 flatbreads as a side to a meal.
Indian bread isn’t all about naan bread and chapatis. If you haven’t heard of them before, stuffed paratha is an Indian flat bread made with a wholemeal dough and a spiced potato (aloo) filling. They have no raising agent and can be cooked in a frying pan.
They are traditionally a breakfast food throughout the Punjab and are popularly served with raita and even go in children’s and husbands’ lunch boxes. I love them on their own, with a big bowl of curry, with chutneys, pickles and dips, anyhow!
They also freeze very well. This recipe makes 6 breads so if you don’t need that many then you could halve the recipe or make too many so you have some in storage that you can pull out of the freezer for an easy and very tasty side. Once cooked, allow the unused breads to cool then divide each one with a layer of clingfilm and store in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
For the stuffing:
600g potatoes, peeled, par-boiled and grated
50g coriander leaves, finely chopped
1-2 fresh green or red chillies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
For the parathas:
300g chapati flour (or 150g each wholemeal and plain flour), plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons melted butter or ghee
For the stuffing, combine the grated potatoes, coriander, chilli, salt and spices and mix evenly. Set aside.
To make the parathas, put the flour and salt into a large bowl and pour in the oil. Add 150-200ml of warm water to the flour gradually with your fingertips until you have a moderately soft and elastic dough. Knead well for five minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Knead the dough briefly once more before forming into six equal balls. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out one ball into an even 5 inch round. Take a sixth of the stuffing and place it centrally on the dough. Pull up the dough around the stuffing until it is completely covered. Twist off any excess dough sealing the potato in. Pat the ball to flatten into a round patty.
Spread a little extra flour on the work surface and roll the patty out very gently and evenly to a 6-7 inch diameter. It doesn’t matter if the dough occasionally breaks; simply sprinkle a bit more flour over the split and roll over it gently.
Set a frying pan over a medium-high heat and allow it to become hot. Place the paratha on one palm and flop it into the hot pan ensuring it lies flat and in full contact with the metal. Leave it to cook for a couple of minutes before flipping. Coat the hot surface with the melted butter or ghee using the back of a spoon. After another couple of minutes, flip again and coat the other side with melted butter or ghee. Repeat the flipping process until the paratha is beautifully browned all over and no uncooked patches of dough remain. Remove to a plate and keep warm in a low oven. Make all the parathas in this way.
This is such a light bread despite the double carbs as the dough is rolled so thinly and the potato is fluffy and flavourful. Paratha is awesome eaten steaming hot and crisp from the pan or you could store leftovers in the freezer as mentioned or in the fridge if you plan on using them in the next couple of days after making. Just reheat them in the pan over a medium heat.