When I saw packages of naan in my local grocery store, I got excited about the possibilities. I love pita bread. It’s great as the base for individual pizzas. Naan bread has a softer texture and slightly different taste, so I was eager to try it out and see what if any difference it made as a pizza, both savory and sweet.
The word naan is Persian in origin and simply means “bread.” It’s a staple in every Indian restaurant, and until recently, was the only place I had eaten it. As it’s popularity has grown, naan is now much more readily available here in the United States.
Unlike pita bread, which is typically made with just a few ingredients: flour, yeast, water and salt, naan bread may contain yogurt, ghee (clarified butter), eggs, and even milk. While pitas have a neat little pocket which is perfect for stuffing with hummus or sandwich fillings, naan is eaten flat, either by itself, as a scoop for other foods, or wrapped around a filling of vegetables or meat.
Pita bread is easily cooked in a modern oven, but the shape and texture of traditional naan bread comes from cooking it in a special oven called a tandoor. Traditional tandoor ovens were made of clay with rounded sides, and look like a large, tall flower pot. There’s a hole in one side of the bottom where the fire is laid, and the open top of the tandoor acts as a chimney Clay retains heat for a long time, so it’s fairly fuel efficient, which is important in areas where fuel, either wood or charcoal, is in short supply. The naan bread dough is thrown, yea, you heard me right, thrown, against the side of the oven and the high heat cooks the bread quickly, creating bubbles, blisters, and lovely indentations. Pita bread is baked flat, and usually retains it’s round shape. Naan is typically oval due to the dough sliding slightly down the side of the tandoor oven as it bakes.
If I ever get the chance, I’d love to see a real tandoor oven in use. There are modern tandoor ovens for sale, but they’re extremely expensive, and take up a lot of real estate in your kitchen. Unless you plan to use it frequently, it’s probably best to get your naan from a local Indian restaurant or the grocery store. Naan Bread Pizza with Fresh Figs and Caramelized Jalapeño Onion Relish Modern kitchens can’t duplicate the taste and texture of traditional naan cooked in a tandoor oven, but I’ve read several articles which state you can use a cast iron skillet and get acceptable results. One day I’ll have to try that. For now, I’ll go with the store bought naan.
For the Margherita pizza, I lightly brushed the top of the naan with Old St Augustine Fountain Of Youth Datil Marinade then layered on sliced grape tomatoes that had been marinated in Fountain of Youth Datil Marinade, kalamata olives, fresh mozzarella balls, and a sprinkling of fresh basil leaves. The Fountain of Youth Datil Marinadegives the tomatoes a touch of sweetness from the fruit in the mixture, and the datil pepper gives them a hint of heat. It is absolutely delicious. Old St Augustine Fountain of Youth Datil Marinade is made with raisins, orange juice, mango, white grapefruit juice, key lime, and pineapple. The combination of delicious, Fresh From Florida fruit, along with datil peppers and other ingredients is amazing. It truly brings new life to anything you use it on. It’s a Fountain of Youth for
Fresh Fig and Caramelized Jalapeño Onion Relish Naan Bread Pizza
I had several fresh figs left from my fig tart last week, so I decided to make a pizza using those along with some caramelized onions. The base is a mixture of Greek yogurt and crumbled feta cheese. I topped that with Old St Augustine Jalapeño Onion Relish which had been cooked in a teaspoon of maple syrup for just a tad of sweetness. Old St Augustine Jalapeño Onion Relish is made with fresh Vidalia onions and jalapeño peppers. It’s sweet with just a hint of heat. I cooked the onions until they were golden and added a teaspoon of maple syrup. On top of the jalapeño onion relish went slices of fresh, ripe, juicy figs. That was it. Simple, yet delicious!
Servings 1(or may be sliced into several appetizer servings)
1/4cupplain Greek yogurt (For a sweeter taste, you can use vanilla flavored yogurt or ricotta cheese would be good here too.)
1/4cupcrumbled feta cheese
1teaspoonextra virgin olive oil
1/4cupOld St Augustine Jalapeño Onion Relish
1teaspoonpure maple syrup (may substitute honey)
2ripe figs, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Line baking pan with foil for easy clean up and place naan bread on top of foil.
In small saucepan over low heat, saute Old St Augustine Jalapeño Onion Relish in 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until onion start to turn golden brown, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the maple syrup and stir to mix it into the onions completely and just warm the syrup. Remove from heat.
Spread yogurt on top of naan bread, leaving a small section of crust on the outside edges.
Sprinkle with the feta cheese.
Top with the cooked onion relish and sliced figs.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melting and the figs are warm.
I hope you enjoy these naan bread pizzas. One is savory with the marinated tomatoes and kalamata olives, and gooey with the mozzarella cheese. The other is slightly sweet from the figs and the Vidalia onions in maple syrup, but with a hint of heat from the jalapeños. You can’t go wrong either way.