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Spelt flatbread recipe with asparagus and za'atar spice blend at

A Simple Supper: Griddled Flatbread with Asparagus & Za’atar

A few weeks ago, I promised an asparagus recipe using my favorite new blend of herbs and spices, za’atar. This griddled flatbread with asparagus & za’atar is everything I want to eat on these longer and brighter evenings.

Easy, wholesome meals that can also serve as hearty appetizers for impromptu company.

{It is just like the new car phenomenon, because I am seeing za’atar in new recipes on these blogs I love Dishing Up the Dirt and Dolly and Oatmeal, plus it was the first recipe I flipped to in Melissa Clark’s brand-new book, Dinner: Changing the Game.}

I love making homemade pizza in the oven or on the grill, but lately those inclinations have turned toward a new outlet: flatbreads.

Wait, Isn’t this pizza?

To sidestep the arguments over this burning question, I’m just going to leave you with this:

If I call it flatbread, people are much more open minded about what it can be. It can be any type of flour, like spelt or whole wheat or rye, with any topping.

Spelt flatbread recipe with asparagus and za'atar spice blend at

There are fewer expectations, too.

With flatbread, no one demands red sauce–or any sauce–or pepperoni or even cheese. It can be thin and crisp or thicker and chewy.

That means more freedom and experimentation for me. Recently, this has allowed me to serve wholegrain flatbreads topped with:

  • homemade kimchi, bacon and fried pasture-raised eggs
  • roasted butternut squash, homemade jalapeno jelly and pistachios
  • roasted asparagus and za’atar

Not weird pizza, just fun flatbreads!

Spelt flatbread recipe with asparagus and za'atar spice blend at

Plus, they can be baked in rectangles, rounds, oblong or as irregular as you like, and the same goes for the slices. No isosceles triangles required!

Freedom = creativity.

Making flatbread on a Griddle

I definitely use some of what I’ve learned from making pizza for this flatbread.

A screaming hot oven or grill, a tasty dough and simple toppings are best.

Because the weather is still iffy for grilling, I decided to use my 12-inch cast iron skillet in the oven. I’ve also used my rectangular griddle. Both work like a pizza stone to augment the radiant heat of the oven.

For the skillet, I rolled the dough into a round; for the griddle, I shaped the same amount of dough into a long rectangle.

Either way, you preheat the cast iron griddle for at least 30 minutes before baking the flatbread. That way, when the dough hits the pan, it starts baking and getting crisp right away.

Spelt flatbread recipe with asparagus and za'atar spice blend at

The only trick is that you’ll need to plop the dough into a screaming hot skillet, so aim well and have faith. No matter how it lands, these flatbreads have a way of hiding any imperfections once baked. {I find that pizza, on the other hand, accentuates all the flaws. Go figure.}

It takes only a few minutes to bake it, so you can start right when everyone’s hungry. Just have the toppings ready to go and you’re set.

For this recipe, I started by roasting the asparagus in the same skillet {saving on dishes, always}. Then, lined them up over the flatbread hot from the oven. I sprinkled them with za’atar and a squeeze of lemon.

Spelt flatbread recipe with asparagus and za'atar spice blend at

After slicing, I topped servings with plain grassmilk yogurt {labneh or goat cheese would be great, too} and some of my stash of preserved lemons.

And more za’atar, of course.


and become a forager

Spelt flatbread recipe with asparagus and za'atar spice blend at
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5 from 3 votes

Griddled Spelt Flatbread with Asparagus & Za’atar

While a cast iron griddle is great for pancakes and quesadillas, it also makes an excellent vessel for cooking flatbreads. This dough recipe is adapted from The New York Times substituting spelt for the all-purpose flour. Once baked, top it with roasted asparagus and the herb-sesame blend called za’atar. Garnish it with plain Greek yogurt, labneh or goat cheese and preserved lemons. Or embellish it your own way!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 12-inch flatbreads
Author Lynne


  • 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, sliced in half lengthwise if thick as your finger organic
  • 1 lemon, cut in half organic
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar


  • To make the dough, mix the spelt flour, all-purpose flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm water and stir to make a stiff dough. If it is very dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the flour is moistened. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  • Uncover the dough and knead it until it is smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes. Recover the dough and set it aside while you prepare the asparagus.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the asparagus lightly 1 tablespoon of the olive oil arrange in a single layer on a cast iron griddle. Roast it begins to brown in spots, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate, then wipe out the skillet with paper towel and return it empty to the oven rack.
  • Meanwhile, cut the dough in half. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it on a lightly floured surface into a round or rectangle (depending on the shape and size of your griddle) about 1/4-inch thick. (A uniform shape does not matter.) Brush it with olive oil and repeat with the other piece of dough.
  • Open the oven and use oven mitts to transfer the griddle to a trivet. Lift one of the flatbreads with both hands and center it over the griddle, then let it drop into the hot pan. It may slope up the sides. Return the griddle to the oven and bake until puffed and browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove the griddle from the oven to the trivet, and use an offset spatula to lift the flatbread from the skillet onto a cutting board. Repeat the baking and topping with the remaining dough. 
  • While the second flatbread bakes, arrange half of the asparagus over it flatbread and sprinkle evenly with the za’atar. Cut into serving pieces with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. (Just fix the asparagus if they slip off the flatbread.) Repeat with the second flatbread, serving with additional toppings as desired.


  1. This looks so delicious. I am all about the using my cast iron skillet…LOVE it. Asparagus is a great addition to anything, and I am a bread lover. Perfect as a appetizer or side dish.

    1. So glad you think so, Gloria!

  2. Yesterday I got a bag of asparagus from Costco and was thinking how to finish it. glad to see your post. this looks so appetizing, and I love the way you used iron skillet. Healthy and tasty.

    1. Thanks so much, Vidya!

  3. Oh wow! I could really go for one of these beautiful flatbreads. I like every single one that you described. But you want to hear something crazy. . .flatbread reminds me of Nairobi. I used to live there, and while it is in Africa, there are a ton of Italian restaurants which all serve their own versions of flatbread. So. . .while restaurants in Nairobi can’t seem to get the pizza thing right (there is no good pizza there). . .they sure can make some mighty tasty flatbread.

    1. That is a great story, Lynn! It reminds me of how bad the pizza was in Mexico, too. Some things don’t translate, do they? But flatbreads seem to cross cultures more seamlessly.

  4. 5 stars
    My hubby and I love asparagus! I can’t wait to make this for dinner!

    1. Hope you report back if you get around to making this with the season’s abundant asparagus, Sarah.

  5. I’ve got to try this pan technique! Sounds like a way faster and easier way to make a quick flat bread! I also I’m intrigued by that Za’atar seasonning… new to me. I’m look out for it. Great post!

    1. Thanks so much, Marie-Pierre! This is a pretty speedy recipe, considering you’re making a dough from scratch. You can make your own za’atar or buy it prepared in specialty stores online. I have a slight addiction to it right now.

  6. 5 stars
    How delicious, I look forward to asparagus season each year. I love the idea of seasoning with za’atar spice, your butternut squash, jalapeno jelly and pistachio flatbreads sound delicious too.

    1. The fun thing is, even the quirky combinations seems to work! And yeah, the za’atar on roasted vegetables is pretty much my go-to right now.

  7. 5 stars
    You are so right about flatbreads, and you can be so creative with the toppings. Our local middle eastern bakery makes a delicious za’atar manakeesh for breakfast. This looks so yummy and I love that this is made in a skillet!

    1. I would love to be able to be able to visit that Middle Eastern bakery myself, Nicole! Sounds amazing. Thanks!

  8. Flatbreads are perfect for getting super creative with! My favorite though is turning them into breakfast creations. Definitely will be trying this recipe out since I love asparagus!

    1. I never thought of using them for breakfast. Tell me more–or do a blog post on it, cuz I’d love to see this in action. Hope you let me know if you try this out, Derek.

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