I first discovered peinirli when our Greek friend from Crete invited us to their housewarming party in Tokyo. He and his wife both love cooking and they do it together- being young, beautiful and incredibly good cooks made them a holiday for both eyes and palate. They served us small “mezze” and ouzo and then, completely unexpectedly they pull out something that looks like pizza from their small Japanese microwave oven. What is this? Peinirli, they say with a slight surprise. Ever since, my husband kept on asking me to make it, and after many trials and fails- I made a recipe to our taste. It used to be our small Tokyo kitchen midnight baking dish.
Peinirli is a Turkish word which translated to “with cheese”. According to some, it is originally created in Constantinople (today Istanbul) and was brought some 100 years ago by the Greeks from Pontus (Black sea), which may be the reason for its boat or canoe shape. Nowadays, it is common finding it in Drosia, suburban Athenian quarter and Panorama by Thessaloniki. Normally made with Kasseri cheese, but you may substitute it with Emmentaler or Mozzarella. Or hey! Use whatever you like your pizza with.
We have repeated Peinirli class in Tokyo several times at Niki’s kitchen. It was one of my absolute favourite menus, too. The recipe is taken and adapted from My Little Expat Kitchen. Enjoy!