Manakish is a popular Arabic bread topped with cheese, thyme or even ground meat. It’s generally served as a breakfast item in Lebanon, which is how we have it most days, but it’s not uncommon to find it on people’s plates during lunch or even as a quick snack.
There are a number of commonly used toppings for manakish, depending on how heavy/light your appetite is.
- Cheese – the kids love a delicious cheese manakish. Commonly used cheeses are Akawieh-a white brine cheese or Kashkawan.
However, when we can’t find a suitable arabic cheese, we opt for mozzarella.
- Minced meat – minced meat manakish is generally served during lunch as it’s a lot heavier. Commonly used meat is lamb, but we’ve had it with minced beef before. The meat is cooked with tomatoes and spices before being added as a topping. It’s best served with labneh (yogurt dipping sauce), or some fresh hummus.
- Za’atar – is a spice mix composed of dried herbs such thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, and sumac. The dough is brushed with olive oil before the za’atar is added to the top and baked.
The kids generally prefer a cheese manakish on most days, while I like a za’atar manakish. Irina from Wandercrush has a great za’atar manakish recipe which is similar to the one we make at home.
Manakish is best served fresh out of the oven, which is how I prefer it. The kids on the other hand prefer it to cool before biting into it, and it’s just as good that way! Our spread consists of freshly baked manakish with labneh (yogurt sauce), a fresh veggie salad of tomatoes and cucumbers, and pickled radishes and olives.
Get the recipe here: How to make Za’atar manakish
Have you tried manakish before? What’s your favorite topping?