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Pomegranate and Pine Nut Lahmajoun

Slightly sweet and tangy with aromatic spices, these small meat pies will make a great appetizer for your next party or a tasty afternoon snack. Adapted from a recipe by Kamal Al-Faqih, these “mini pizzas” are a fun twist on the regular lahmajoun you may be more familiar with.

This winter, I was lucky enough to belong to a produce co-up where I was able to purchase pomegranates in bulk at a great price, I have been looking for ways to incorporate pomegranates into my meals.  And I ALWAYS love anything dressed up with pine nuts, even if they are one of the most expensive ingredients you can buy. I keep them in my freezer to preserve them as long as possible.

What ingredients do I need Pomegranate and Pine Nut Lahmajoun? 

  • 1/2 batch of Heavenly Armenian Pita Bread dough
  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, lamb or turkey)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (could add more if using very lean meat)
  • 2 finely diced onions (strain out water)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspooons allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup labni cheese (or strained greek yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in butter

    How do I make Pomegranate and Pine Nut Lahmajoun? 

    Use the bread dough of your choice.  I recommend using a half a batch of Heavenly Armenian Pita Bread.  You could also use a crescent roll dough for a more buttery taste. I was craving a healthy snack when I made these, so I used Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread and paired it up with extra-lean ground turkey.  This is a great option for a healthy snack, but if I was preparing this as an appetizer for guests, I might want to stick with the white Armenian bread and pair it with an 85/15 ground meat/fat content for a richer flavor.

     

    Next dice the onions very finely or process them in a food processor. Mince the garlic as well or include them in the food processor.  Drain excess water from the diced onions in a fine mesh sieve.

    Combine raw ground meat, onions, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, labni, tahini and spices in a bowl.  Stir thoroughly. Add pomegranate seeds and stir until combined.

    Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut 3” circles with a glass or cookie cutter. 
    Brush a little olive oil over the dough. Then top each piece of dough with a teaspoon of meat mixture and spread thinly over the whole top.
    Place about a dozen lahmajoun on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-7 minutes on a lower rack and 6-7 minutes on an upper rack. Check to make sure meat is browned, but be careful not to overcook dough.

    Drizzle baked lahmajoun with pine nuts toasted in melted butter.

    Serve warm with fresh parsley, fresh mint and a dollop of labni or greek yogurt if you prefer.

     

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