Monday, July 11, 2011

Guest Blogger Mondays.....Today all the way from Abu Dhabi.....Egg and Cheese Manakish (Breakfast Pizza) by Michelle


About Michele: Hi, I'm Michele. I am the lucky mom of a sweet five year old daughter and wife of a wonderfully talented man whose occupation allows us to travel to some amazing places and live abroad.  After a year of living and traveling in Asia we now call Abu Dhabi, UAE, home. You know the city from Sex And The City 2.

The Middle East was never high up on my bucket list places I wanted to live but over this past year I have truly and surprisingly come to love living in this country. The region is full of culture, ancient history and a regional blend of delicious food. I think I am a little biased about the food since the local dishes are similar to Mediterranean cuisine- it is the comfort food of my childhood. 

I grew up in a Greek family with a father who was passionate about food; cooking, eating, exploring cultural cuisine. He always told me if you want to understand the people from around the world start by eating their food.  I find it ironic that I have unintentionally followed in his footsteps.

One of my favorite dishes from this region is za'atar.  Za'atar often refers to any dish that consists of flatbread, like pita, and a mix of herbs like oregano, basil, thyme and savory. Za'atar also refers to just the dried mix of herbs, spices and seeds. The word is used interchangeably which can be really confusing. Za'atars, are common in Greek, Israeli, Turkish and Arabic cuisine.

The local "za'atar" restaurants serve these bread dishes rolled up like a wrap with meat and salad or flat, cut into slices like pizza. When it is served flat it is called manakish or manoosheh. Loosely translated it’s "arabic pizza". Regardless of presentation, the main ingredient is always za'atar, and usually a lot of it!

The  Za'atar recipe I like to make at home is Egg and Cheese Manakish.  It is eaten for breakfast or as a snack  or mezze.  My daughter loves the idea of eating pizza for breakfast so it is always a big hit.  It is super fast an easy. I hope you and your family will enjoy it.

 Egg and Cheese Manakish / Breakast Pizza


1 large pita or Middle Eastern flatbread
2 eggs
1 Cup of shredded cheese  (An Arabic cheese called haloumi is commonly used but I use mozzarella)
2 teaspoons za'atar - A mix of dried oregano, basil, thyme, savory.  I use a premix like McCormicks "Italian Pinch". I usually skip the seeds.  It is really up to you.
Add salt and pepper to taste 
Optional variations : like traditional pizza you can add all sorts of toppings such as onions, olives, tomatoes, and cooked turkey bacon. They can be added to the egg mixture before baking or added cold after cooking.


Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, beat the eggs as if you were making scrambled eggs. Add your za'atar, salt and pepper to taste. Once the eggs are mixed add the cheese and blend until it is well coated with the egg mixture.  On a baking or pizza tray, place your bread smoother side down. Pour the egg mixture directly onto the bread. Using a basting brush or fork spread evenly so that the egg does not puddle in any one area.  Bake for 3-4 minutes at 350 degrees F then finish under the broiler until the top bubbles.
Slice like a pizza pie.


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Ellen. Thanks for the invite. I have linked my chocolate cupcake recipe to your Sharing Sundays. We have recently discovered this Middle Eastern flatbread and just love it. Sometimes we just brush it with garlic butter and crisp it in the oven. I will definitely try the toppings you've used here.

  2. Doesn't this sounds delicious. I can't wait to try it Michelle. Thank you for being our Guest Blogger today!


  3. We have a Middle Eastern restaurant here that serves a bread like this -- it's puffy in spots and crispy in others. They serve it with olive oil and za'atar...this one has sumac, which gives it a slightly sour taste. It's complimentary and downright addictive, so I sometimes just order hummus and call that my meal! This is a great recipe...thanks for sharing!!

  4. What lovely post, I really enjoyed, Michele your daugther is sooo cute!! x gloria


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