When you combine bread with good toppings or fillings, you’ve got protein and starch and often vegetables all in one neat – or sometimes not-so-neat – package.

Lamejun is a thin-crusted, open-faced Middle Eastern meat pie, similar to pizza, but without cheese.

I’ve had them in Middle Eastern delis in the Boston area and also, recently, at the bar at the newly refurbished Boone’s Fish House on Commercial Street in Portland.

Another sandwich takes advantage of thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets (sometimes called paillards or fillets), quickly cooked and layered into French or Portuguese rolls with a quick pan sauce and peppery arugula.

Middle Eastern Pizza

It’s quite easy to recreate this exotic-seeming pie at home using readily available Syrian bread, pita bread, lavash, or refrigerated pizza crust. It makes a wonderful little supper, topped with dollops of cooling plain yogurt and served with a salad on the side.

Serves 4

1 pound lean ground lamb

1 small onion, finely chopped

½ cup chopped parsley

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon ground allspice

4 large or 8 small Syrian or pita bread or lavash, or 2 (10-ounce) tubes refrigerated pizza dough

1½ cups seeded and chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Plain yogurt, about 1 cup

Preheat the oven to 425. In a bowl, combine ground lamb, onion, parsley, salt, black and red pepper, and allspice. Use your hands to mix well.

Spread flat breads or pizza dough out on two baking sheets. Distribute lamb mixture over the top and spread it almost to the edges with a rubber spatula, making sure that the topping is no more than a scant ½-inch thick. Scatter tomatoes over the top and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in the preheated oven until meat is browned and the crust is crisp, about 15 minutes. Cut into wedges or rectangles to serve. Pass a bowl of plain yogurt at the table for spooning over the top.

Chicken Cutlet and Arugula Sandwich

Add a salad of sliced tomatoes, sweet onions, and olives for a delicious simple supper.

Serves 2; can be doubled

½ pound boneless chicken breast cutlets

1½ teaspoons dried tarragon (see Note)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons light olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon minced shallots

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 large handful arugula

4 long French rolls or Portuguese rolls, split

Season chicken on all sides with the tarragon and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté chicken until lightly brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove with tongs to a plate, leaving drippings in pan.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and sauté shallots over medium heat for 1 minute. Add vinegar and cook about 30 seconds, scraping up any browned bits in bottom of pan.

Remove pan from heat and whisk mayonnaise into drippings until blended.

Spread mayonnaise over bottoms of rolls, layer with chicken and arugula, replace roll tops, cut in half, and serve.

Note: If you have fresh tarragon, use about 1 tablespoon.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Lobster!” (Storey, 2012). She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:



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