Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.



{VOTING OPEN} Pizza around the world: Turkish Pide and a Poached Pear Pizza

Thank you so much for supporting me so far in PFB 2010. Voting is now open for round 5 until 6PM PST on Oct 21, 2010. Please use this link to vote. Thank you very much! :)

Na'Na Caramelised Onion & Olive Pide With Feta 1

Recently, I had reasons to do some research on the ubiquitous Pizza. I was amazed to find how ancient the concept of pizza is!! The common history of the birth of the pizza, as a popular dish, is a romantic story of how a poor man's meal became the comfort food of the high and mighty and the prosperous and has since become a truly democratic dish!

What I also discovered in my scouring was that the term "pizza" has been prevalent as early as 997 A.D but wasn't even given the status of being an edible dish until much later. It was initially a baker's tool used to verify oven temperature!!

But, once the concept of the pizza as a bread base topped with sauce, took off, it spread far and wide across many many cultures. The breadth and reach of the far flung Roman and the Ottoman empires must surely have aided the pizza's adoption into people's homes and hearts.

Na'Na Caramelised Onion

Each culture adopted the dish to be it's own, rendering it with distinctive flavors of the region as also shapes and customs of eating it. Today's practice of dotting the pizza with cheese began in 1889, as a tribute to the Queen consort of Italy. The Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the "Pizza Margherita," garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag. (citation: wikipedia)

Since then, cheese has become an integral part of the pizza's concept itself although some form of pizza continue to exist sans cheese even today, such as the Lahma bi Ajeen, from Lebanon. Middle Eastern food has always held a special appeal to me. Perhaps, it's the invitation of the spices, the subtle aromas of their intensely flavorful dishes. The mystery behind how something that looks so simple can blow your taste buds off in sheer ecstasy...

Na'Na Caramelised Onion & Olive Pide

I can wax eloquent for very long on the subject but what I am trying to say here is that borrowing a leaf from that cuisine, today, I present you the Turkish pizza called Pide. I first saw the Pide on Lola Mansurov's stunning website.

The boat shaped beauty just stopped me in my browsing tracks. It's elegance belied the humble origins of the pizza.The deep earthy tones of the base, the golden brown hues that look a lot like that of bread and the simplicity of it's toppings spoke to me and I instantly bookmarked it.

Olive Tapenade

However, it wasn't until the PFB challenge, did I get the opportunity to revisit it and put my spin on it. Here, I present a Pide with Na'Na (mint) caramelised Onions and Olive Tapenade.

Every meal in our house ends on a sweet note. Extending the pizza theme of the meal, I made individual pies with chocolate sauce topped with poached pears, orange candied walnuts all brushed with a sweet glaze of orange syrup.

Pear (cranberry poached) and Chocolate Pizza With Orange Candied Walnuts

This post is my official entry for the Round 5 challenge of the Project Food Blog contest. Voting is now open until Oct 21 6pm. I do hope you like this post enough to honor me with your vote here. Merci beaucoup!

Also, I am hosting a $45 CSN giftcard giveaway until 20th October. For details, visit my announcement post.

Na'Na, Caramelised Onion and Olive Pide
(recipe adapted from

Na'Na Caramelised Onion & Olive Pide With Feta

For the Dough:
(makes 2 individual pides and 2 individual dessert

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 T Rapid Rise yeast
1/2 cup warm milk (110 F)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 egg, beated
1-1/2 T olive oil

For the topping:
1 large white onion, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp all spice
2 tsp dried mint, Na'Na
salt, pepper and oil as needed
4 oz olives in oil, (weight with pitts)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Feta crumbles (optional)
1 tomato, diced
1/2 egg, beaten for the egg wash

Sprinkle the yeast in the warm milk with the sugar and set aside for 5-7 mins until it becomes cloudy and starts to foam. Add salt, egg and oil and mix well. Add the flour and mix to form a dough. Knead the dough gently to make a soft, tacky dough that is not sticky.

Coat the bowl and the dough ball in oil, cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Divide the dough into 3 portions. Use two to make the pides and divide the third into two to make the individual desserts or one large sweet pizza.

Meanwhile, over slow heat saute the onions with garlic, brown sugar, dried mint and all spice until caramelised, about 35 minutes. Set aside. Grind the olives along with the oil into a smooth paste. Mix in about a teaspoon of fresh olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Keep the dough not in use covered. Ball each portion into an egg shape. Using your hands stretch the dough into a rough oval. Now, roll out the dough into a larger oval of 1/4 inch thickness. Spread the olive tapenade over the base leaving a 1/2 inch border. Top with half the onion mixture and sprinkle half of the diced tomatoes and cheese.

Fold over the edges of the dough over the topping, making a pointy end on both ends to form the boat shape. Brush the edges with egg wash and divide any remaining egg over the pides.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the bread is browned. Remove, slice horizontally and serve topped with crumbled feta.


  1. Great post and gorgeous pide! I must go have a heavy breakfast now...

  2. I have never made Pide, bit I tried it when I was in Turkey. I like very much this recipe with caramelized onion ! And of course you have my vote!

  3. Great post!!!! Incredible photos as always!!

    Btw: Great minds think alike...?
    I'm finishing the typing of my post..I also made a sweet pizza! No pears, though!

  4. Omg, wat a beautiful space u have, dunno how i missed ur space, beautiful looking pizzas..

  5. Asha, really wonderful, informative post and what unusual, intriguing, beautiful pizza! I've made Turkish pizza before but it was nothing like this. Your flavors are fabulous and I want to try it!

  6. Asha, I love both of the pizzas you created. The post was just perfect, it was eloquent, informative and, of course, beautiful. But by now, I'm used to that :)

  7. That is a perfectly formed Turkish "pie"! I order these regularly at a local restaurant and they look just like this. GREG

  8. Your pide reminds me of adjarian khachapuri, which makes sense seeing as they're neighbors. The Georgian version is more abysmal looking, with bread, cheese, butter, and egg. Would be interesting to do pizzas from one country to the next to see how they evolve. Thanks for the great ideas.

  9. Wow, that looks so good!! I had never before seen a Turkish pizza and I love the shape! I can see how that would work really well in keeping everything in..Mmm, delicious!

  10. Stunning pictures as always and I love the way you introduced some culture/history into this piece. Great post and of course you have my vote!

  11. Pizza has never looked more elegant. Good luck!

  12. Gorgeous photos! This pide looks superb. I love caramelised onions :) Loved reading the food history too!
    Heidi xo

  13. That's a fascinating history. I can't believe that pizza is ancient! The pizza you made is quite incredible. It looks sensational.

  14. Congratulations Asha on making it this far! Your KCC blogger friends are so proud of you! You surely have my vote! Lovely pied - there is a shop in my area that sells pide - yours looks so much more authentic! I love the flavor combinations of olives, onions and MINT! How unique is that!

  15. Yummy yummy yummy. I can just imagine biting into that salty richness. I'm bookmarking this one for later.

  16. asha, feasting my eyes on the turkish pied, excellent post.

  17. love turkish pizza. i was lucky enough to have it on a visit to Istanbul a few years back.

    awesome that you posted i'm craving for that vacation.

    can't wait to see your next KCC post :)

  18. Bellissima la tua idea ..di pizza, ciao

  19. Great post and gorgeous photos!!
    The Turkish pizza looks wonderful!!

  20. your pide looks wondeful: crunchy and crispy on the outside and gooey and cheesy in the middle. What a wonderful twist on presenting pizza.

  21. Great post and photos. I have a very good memory of eating pide from my days in Turkey.

  22. You got my vote Asha - go girl! :)

  23. I loved it, it looks delicious and the pictures are amazing. You are one of my favorites in this competition.

  24. Charmaine: You read my mind! The kachapuri is next on my list to do! :)

  25. Just voted!! This looks like my kind of pizza ... I love any twist on a staple recipe in my kitchen. The only problem with me and pizza is I can literally never seem to get full from eating it.

    Well done once again!

    Best of luck!

  26. I love pide!! It's on my to do list next. Yours look absolutely stunning. Beautiful photographs as always!

  27. This Pide looks absolutely gorgeous! It is beckoning at me!

  28. That lovely shape and the caramelized onions totally got me sold on this. very very beautiful.. and u have the vote.

  29. I love what you did with pizza! Gorgeous! You got my vote again!

  30. boat shaped pizza looks so yum..goodluck for the next challenge

  31. Beautiful photos, Asha! I think the onions might be my favorite. Never heard of pide before this challenge, and this looks amazing. Nice work!

  32. Boat-shaped pizza??? great idea!!!

  33. Hurray for Team Pide! :) This is such a wonderful post, full of gorgeous photos and delicious recipes. I'm also a sucker for food history facts, so I loved reading about the origins of pizza. Lovely all around.

  34. Just voted for you girl!
    Your posts are always so lovely to read. I feel like I've had a bit of history lesson too hehe! love it! Your pide looks likea big boat full of delicious treasures!

  35. Your turkish pizza is gorgeous - great for this challenge. You have my vote ;)

  36. I never saw/heard of Pide before; now I've just voted for 2 in PFB because it looks absolutely delicious. Good luck in advancing.

  37. Your pide is just beautiful! It's shape is so unique - unlike any other pizza I know of. Best of luck!

  38. I'm as much tempted by your pide than the sweet pies !
    I like the combination of ingredients you chose for both.

  39. both your pizza AND photography rock my world.

  40. mmmm yummy, it looks really great, thanks & wish you good luck :)

  41. You really stands out among the many entries. Beautiful and absolutely mouthwatering dishes.

  42. Wow, I've never seen pide before -I love the boat shape! Fabulous photography, and the pizza sounds delicious.

  43. Ive read somewhere the pizza originated from the Turks and when some of them traveled to Italy, they brought it there and since then Italy has adapted this dish! Lahmajun is one of my most favorite dish! Great job!

  44. This looks so delicious! Great post and awesome pictures! Just voted for you!

  45. my gosh! luks so scrumptious.

  46. This pizza looks great! I've been meaning to try to make Turkish pizza for some time. Bookmarking this recipe :)

  47. I don't be sorry that spent a few of minutes for reading. Write more often, surely’ll come to read amazing new.


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