Turkish lamb and sumac pizza

Our Berry kitchen cookbook

Our Berry kitchen, 190pp.
by the families of Berry Public School
Create a Cookbook, location unknown, 2013
Cooking on page 32

This book should go down in history—mostly because I bought it on a whim AND paid full price for it. I never pay full price for a cookbook.

It all started other day when we drove to Berry, New South Wales, to drop off Kodai (a friend from Japan), so he could take the train to Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney.

We set out from Rosedale about 9 a.m. and gave ourselves plenty of time to visit a couple of touristic stops and get to the train station on time, in case traffic was bad. Traffic was fine and we arrived in Berry about 12:30 p.m. That was about two hours before the train would arrive/leave, so we headed into town for some lunch.

Pompadour Chocolate Shop

Pompadour Chocolate Shop

I knew a nice place, the Emporium, where I’d eaten a week earlier when I drove to Berry and took the train to Sydney to meet Kodai when he arrived from Japan.

We finished lunch with plenty of time to spare, so set out to explore the delights of Berry. It didn’t take long for Poor John to spot the Pompadour Chocolate Shop, or for me to spot their table of Our Berry kitchen cookbooks.

The cookbook is a fundraiser for Berry Public School and, while I wouldn’t normally spend $35 on a cookbook, I loved the fact that the recipes came from school families and that ALL proceeds go to the school.

So I bought it and now I’m cooking on page 32–33. It’s a recipe from the Salmon family.

Turkish lamb and sumac pizza

Turkish lamb and sumac pizza


2 cups plain flor
generous pinch salt
7g sachet dried yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
3/4 cup warm water

Savoury lamb

Savoury lamb

1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
400g lamb mince
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
handful parsley, chopped

Pizza toppings

Some of the toppings

200g tub hummus
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
4 English spinach leaves, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped into sticks
200g fetta, crumbled
sumac, for sprinkling
2 lemons, quartered

Fire up your pizza oven or preheat oven to its highest heat. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven.

To make the pizza dough, combine flour and salt in a bowl.

In a separate small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and warm water and set aside for 5 minutes.

Flour and yeast Kneaded pizza dough

Add yeast mixture to flour and mix thoroughly.

Turn mix out onto a well-floured surface and knead well until it comes together into a smooth elastic ball. Set aside until ready to roll.

To cook the lamb, heat oil in frying pan over medium–high heat and fry onion and garlic until golden. Add lamb gradually and fry until all lamb is added and browned. Drain off any fat. Stir in chilli flakes, ground coriander, ground cumin, salt and pepper, then fry mix for a few minutes until lamb is fully cooked. Add pine nuts and parsley and fry for 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Gather and prepare your other topping ingredients and set aside, ready for assembling.

Divide the dough into two or four pieces (depending on pizza size required). Using a floured rolling pin or your hands, roll each out onto well-floured surface into your pizza shape. Make sure surface is well-floured surface so dough doesn’t stick.

Spread each pizza base with hummus, then sprinkle each with approximately 1 tablespoon of mozzarella. Top with lamb, followed by spinach, zucchini and fetta. Finish with a generous sprinkle of sumac and a light sprinkle of mozzarella.

Cooking lamb for pizza

Cooking lamb for pizza

One at a time, cook pizzas in your pizza oven or on the pizza stone in your oven. Cooking time will vary depending on the heat of your oven, but should be between 3 and 7 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over hot pizza. Yum!

How it played out
Made mostly as written—changing only two ingredients. I didn’t have any spinach on hand, but did have plenty of rocket (arugula), which I adore, so I reckon it was a great modification. Didn’t have quite enough toasted pine nuts, so topped up with toasted slivered almonds.

Always make my own hummus, which takes just a few minutes. This recipe is from my long-time friend, Elias, who is from the Middle East.

Simply whip out your food processor or blender, and prepare as noted.  And if you love hummus, make a double batch so you have some left over.


Hummus and cookbook

Hummus and cookbook

1 clove of garlic, chopped (more if you like)
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 1/2–2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

Add and buzz:
1 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (save a few for garnish)
juice of 1/2 a lemon (I usually use juice of a whole lemon)

Add and buzz:
2–3 tablespoons water (to get desired consistency). You won’t need much if you use the juice of the whole lemon

Turkish lamb pizza

Sy’s version (see comments below)

hummus on a plate

Drizzle and sprinkle with:
1/2–1 tablespoon oil
sweet paprika and chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


A kneading time wasn’t specified, but I figured that 5 minutes was more than adequate.

I opted to make two larger pizzas, using my hands and a rolling pin to get shapes something close to a circle. The second one looked more like a map of Tasmania.

I was also a little cavalier when it came to adding the toppings, using my own order. So I did hummus, then meat mixture, zucchini, rocket, cheeses and sumac.

We don’t have a pizza stone at our beach house, so I cranked the oven up to 250°C, and each pizza took about 10 minutes to brown nicely.

Turkish lamb and sumac pizza


Turkish lamb and sumac pizza


Neighbours knocked on the front door about the time this came out of the oven. ‘Oh, just a sliver,’ they said, and then promptly put out their plates for more. That’s what happens with a moorish recipe.

We all added extra salt and sumac (be heavy-handed if you like this flavour). Very nice to come across a recipe that makes use of non-typical pizza ingredients.

The book
This isn’t your typical el-cheapo school fundraiser. It’s a classy book loaded with tempting and delicious-looking recipes and lovely colour photographs. Try resisting the sweet pictured on the cover.

I hope someone from the school has a chance to drop in and let us know how sales are going.

Update: Chris Jallard (see comments below) dropped in to say sales have already passed 2300—with a target of 4000. If anyone’s interested, and I highly recommend this cookbook, you can order through their website. Tell them Peggy sent you. 🙂 Not often you get so much value for what amounts to a $35 donation to such a worthwhile cause—the school library! Thanks to Berry Public School and all the families, chefs and  businesses who contributed to the book.

P.S. Looking for some adventure? Be sure to check out my travel blog.


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
This entry was posted in Light meal, Main dish, Meat, Nuts, Pastry, Snack and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Turkish lamb and sumac pizza

  1. Amy says:

    What a lovely concept for a fundraiser!

  2. Debbwl says:

    Never would have thought lamb on pizza but sounds and looks like something that would be good to try when wanting something really different. So glad you shared.

    • leggypeggy says:

      My pleasure. Australians cook with lots of lamb, so putting it on pizza isn’t all that unusual for us. But I wouldn’t have thought of the hummus, zucchini and sumac. Yum, yum!

  3. Sharon says:

    Another great recipe Peggy! It wouldn’t surprise be if you found a lot of great recipes in this lovely collection. Worth paying full price! 🙂

  4. Rhonda says:

    Mmmm. I love Turkish Lamb Pide (Pizza) but have never tried making my own. Looks as though I’ll be trying this weekend. Thanks, Peggy!

  5. G’day Peggy! YUM YUM YUM YUM! I could go for a sliver of this right now too!
    What a great fundraiser idea too! Did I mention YUM? lol
    Cheers! Joanne

  6. Hi Peggy,
    Thanks so much for taking a gamble on our little school cookbook from Berry and thanks for sharing your cooking experience on your blog. The Lamb and Sumac pizza was definitely one of my favourites when we were doing the food photography and I’m glad the neighbours enjoyed it too.

    You wanted to know how we are going with the sales – well, just recently we have hit just over 2300 books sold! Well on our way to our target of 4000, with all of the funds raised going straight back to the school to fund improvements to our school library.

    We are so very chuffed with the positive responses coming back from keen cooks just like yourself after they really get into experiencing what hides behind the delicious and moorish caramel slice on the cover.

    If any of your readers (not close to Berry) want to pick one up we can get one to them. See http://www.ourberrykitchen.org.au

    Chris Jallard

    • leggypeggy says:

      Hi Chris
      Thanks so much for dropping in. This is great news. It was definitely my pleasure to buy the cookbook and feature the pizza recipe on the blog. I’ll add a paragraph about your results and website to the body of the post, in case people don’t read the comments. Come back and let us know when you’ve sold 4000! 🙂

  7. This looks great Peggy. I have a lamb pizza posted on food and it has chopped tomato added after cooking. I reckon tomato would work well on this one too. The addition of sumac is a fantastic idea and I’ll be trying this. I have also saved the info to buy the book as a full priced purchase of a book is a huge recommendation 😉

  8. Sy S. says:

    Many dishes from the middle east and especially the Turkey area are of interest to me. Since we in the USA don’t eat much lamb, it is always somewhat of a treat to use lamb. And since once in a while I like to make things easy for myself (cooking wise), I cheated a little…. I bought an already made-up pizza pie thin crust and already had, in the refrigerator, a tub of Hummas and whole pine nuts for the top. So getting ground lamb and the balance of cheese/veggies was easy.
    I have some pizza stone tiles but they do not fit into my small new convection toaster/oven… so used the rack to bake the pizza. And instead of Sumac (ground red berries) sprinkled dried mint leaves (recommended by a Turkish grocery person as an alternative).
    I should have baked the pizza a little longer (crust not that crisp), but it looked so good and then tasted so good. A very nice dish to make instead of the typical tomato/pepperoni pizzas.

    Thanks Peggy for posting this tasty Turkish pizza

    Sy S.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Hi Sy, I’m glad I posted it too, but I think our thanks must go the the Berry Public School and the Salmon family. Your shortcuts sound good and are a good guide for a busy person who wants to get a tasty and nutritious dinner on the table quickly.
      As for the sumac, I had to go to three or four supermarkets before I finally found it, so it’s nice to know a good alternative.
      Thanks for sending photographic evidence of your handiwork (see above)! 😉

  9. Now THIS is a pizza I need to try. Not that the other pizzas you’ve featured have been less than extraordinary, but this one made me tingle… 😉

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