Lepuska Pizza: Something new out of something old
Old houses contain many tales of the generations that have previously lived there. There may be many layers of paint on the wall or wallpaper to be uncovered and possibly a piece of furniture that no one has taken with them when they have moved away.
We had the opportunity to visit friends that live in an old house and have an old barn in the yard. It was so exciting for the kids, full of nooks and crannies to explore. The young family that is living there now have many plans to remodel and upkeep but not destroy the history behind the house. They have made a place for chickens in the barn and an open window through which they can freely go outside and walk around the yard. There is a little sheltered coop for the bunnies and out back the sheep call to let us know their presence.
The Lepuska Pizzas are similar in nature. Lepuska is a very traditional flatbread that is made out of potato and comes from Karelia. Every region of the world makes some version of flatbread. The ingredients may slightly vary and it may be called, tortilla, rieska, lefse, pita, tunnbrod, or Naan. I learned the recipe for lepuska from an old friend who is from the Karelian area of Finland. It is the perfect way to use left over mashed potatoes. Thus using the old in making something new.
Lepuska dough (makes about 17-18 lepuska flatbread)
7 dl/3 c mashed potatoes
1.5 dl/0.6 c flour
Bake in the oven at 200C/390F for about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Quickly saute 1 chopped onion, 2 stalks of celery, 1 garlic clove, and 50 g/ 2 oz finely chopped salami or pepperoni. Pour in one carton of crushed tomatoes (370 g/13 0z). Flavor with salt, pepper, basil, oregano and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Let simmer for a few minutes.
Grate 100 g/3.5 0z of cheese and crumble 50 g/1.8 oz of blue cheese.
Assembly of lepuska pizzas:
Place a generous tablespoon of sauce on each lepuska, a few crumbles of blue cheese and a generous pinch of grated cheese on each mini pizza. Bake in the oven for another 8-10 minutes so that the cheese has slight color.
Garnish the Lepuska Pizza with freshly chopped Basil.