Ladenia (Λαδένια)

One of my favourite Lent-friendly dishes has to be Ladenia (roughly translated to olive bread) from the island of Kimolos. This is great for a snack, a light meal or cut-up and serve as part of your meze table. Sometimes you want something lighter or you just may want to use the ripe, juicy tomatoes in the summer when they are at their best. (orig. posted July 2008)

Ladenia has a thick crust that’s allowed to rise, then treated with olive oil, followed by a topping of sliced onions and very ripe tomatoes. The finishing touches are coarse sea salt, black pepper and the fabulously pungent dry Greek oregano. Don’t forget the Greek extra-virgin olive on top when the Ladenia just comes out of the oven. That hot dough is going to suck-up that green gold. Flavour!

Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska is the lady responsible for bringing Ladenia to my attention and from a brief search on the internet – to several others. Ladenia is enjoyed throughout many islands in the Aegean and you’ll find many on the mainland enjoying their own version of this dish thanks to the many bloggers who have embraced this simple yet delicious bread and they have all placed their own stamp on it.

I’m not going to toy much with this recipe – I’m sticking to the pizza dough, oil, onions, seasonings and herb combo. Simple is best here. Your choosing of quality ingredients will shine through when you taste the finished product.

Some key factors in making a good Ladenia:

  • Allow the dough to rise at least a half hour to thicken up. I’m a thin-crust pizza kinda’ guy but thick works best here. The olive oil and juices from the onions and tomatoes will provide ample flavour.
  • Choose ripe, not too watery tomatoes. No matter how long you bake (roast) them, a shit tomato will still taste like well, “skata”.
  • Use regular olive oil when covering the dough and then drizzle the primo, good extra-virgin olive oil just as the Ladenia comes out of the oven.
  • Top off with dried Greek oregano and extra-virgin olive oil as soon as out of the oven.

Eat this as a lighter lunch, make a large Ladenia for a party as offer as an appetizer or snack but do make it. This was a big hit throughout the household – I know it will be in yours too!

Ladenia

(makes 2 medium or 1 large Ladenia)

For the Dough
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Topping
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 large tomatoes, cut in half then cut into half-moon slices
coarse sea salt
ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. dry Greek oregano
extra-virgin olive oil (for finishing)

Pre-heated 400F oven

  1. In a large bowl, add your yeast, sugar, and warm water and allow about 7-10 minutes to activate (as evidenced with the bubbling). Now add your salt and olive oil add about 2 cups of flour into the mixture. Keep on adding flour while kneading on a floured work surface until your dough is pliable and no longer sticks to your hands.
  2. Spread some olive oil on your round baking pan and sprinkle some fine semolina flour. Roll out your pizza dough to the approx. circumference of your pan and allow the dough to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm spot in the home. You may now preheat your oven.
  3. Pour and evenly spread the olive oil over your dough, followed by spreading out the sliced onions all over area of the Ladenia. Now top with your tomato slices, coarse sea salt, black pepper and dry Greek oregano.
  4. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 40-45 minutes until the edges have just browned and the top has a light brown colour.
  5. Serve hot or cold, as a meal or a snack.

© 2012,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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104 Comments for “Ladenia (Λαδένια)”

Marjie

says:

Now, I’m no big pizza fan, being no fan of red sauce, but this looks good! Similar to white pizza. I wonder how the thick crust will sell in my household?

Susan/Wild Yeast

says:

I have had trouble with fresh tomatoes releasing too much water and making pizza crust soggy but this method of a relatively low temperature (well, lower than most pizza) for a longer time, and with a thick crust, seems that it would solve the problem nicely. That’s one gorgeous pie (am I allowed to call it a pie?)

Gloria

says:

Peter This looks better than any pizza, believe me!!! Is really yummy!!! xxxgloria I love the pictures too!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

says:

I love chewy crust, but very little sauce on top, so this looks ideal. Beautiful photos, too.

Laurie Constantino

says:

Peter, I’m glad you liked my ladenia recipe and decided to write about it. One thing though – I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count and I can tell you with absolute certainty that olive oil doesn’t burn if you use it to oil the baking ban and definitely adds positively to the flavor of the ladenia. I would never use vegetable oil when making ladenia. But as we all know, everyone does things differently and I wouldn’t mention it except for your assertion that olive oil can burn if you use it for oiling the pan, which just isn’t true.

Elly

says:

This looks so great! My yiayia is going to be so impressed when I tell her about all these new Greek dishes I’ve never heard of, lol. Happy Candada Day!

Lisa

says:

Looks beautiful and I’m sure it tastes even better! Happy Canada Day! One year, we happened to be in Niagara Falls for your holiday.

Peter M

says:

Susan, it’s thick crust paradise all the way here.

Marjie, considering the thick crust, this was still verrrry flavourful.

Susan, you may certainly call it a pie and I do think the crust would hold up to watery tomatoes.

Gloria, it’s a nice, lighter variety, thank you as always.

Ann, this is a very simple dish, focusing on the little ingredients and succeeding with great taste.

Kevin, the temptation was there but I’m glas I resisted.

Hi Sharon and welcome…I’ll be making this again soon!

Lydia, it did photograph rather nicely – it tasted as good as it looked.

Laurie, the Ladenia was easy to make and a joy to eat, I’ll make it again soon. As for olive oil vs. veg oil, I used veg. oil based on my experiences of baking pites and pizzas and olive can burn underneath so, that’s why I used veg. oil here. I’ll take your word for it and try treating the “tapsi” with olive oil next time.

Elly, there’s still lots of regional Greek dishes out there to discover.

Jen, the tomatoes were sweet, hint of tartness.

Lisa, thanks and yes this tasted as good as it looked.

Lulu, you’ll be well rewarded.

farida

says:

Peter, this looks so delicious. I like the name too – sounds exotic:) It does remind me of pizza but I am sure there is a nice Greek touch to it. Yum!

Arundathi

says:

Peter – thats just right up my alley – thanks! i’ve only recently (about a week) ago started making my own pizza dough, so i’m really excited to try this one out! It looks amazing!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

says:

That last photo looks like there is feta in there somewhere, but you say not….I think we just all assume that a pizza has cheese, but tomato, onion with olive oil….I like this already!!!

Heather

says:

Oh lawd, this looks like my kind of pizza. I love just simple tomato and onion, especially now that tomatoes are really getting good.

I’m a vegetarian this week to purge some of the salt and pork fat from my system after a week or two of debauchery, so this looks like a perfect weeknight dinner to me. You probably think I’m joking but I haven’t eaten any meat (except fish) since Friday. Stop the press!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js

says:

It does look like pizza! It is pizza! ;)

I love this informative series you have, this one and that Cretan bagel. ;)

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI

says:

nice pizza – a few red or green peppers will give it that little oomph over the tomato

Peter M

says:

Farida, Greeks definitely prefer thick crust and they do eat a lot of pizza too!

Farmer Jen, you’re welcome.

Hi Amanda…thanks and welcome.

Arundathi, make your own dough is easy…you’ll see!

Panda, give this a whirl…you’ll be surprised at how flavourful it is.

Nina, no feta…trust the simplicity of the Ladenia…no cheese needed.

Heather, nothing wrong with a little fast, cleansing (with some seafood in the mix). Now don’t be doin’ a seafood boil!

JS, the Neopolitans wouldn’t call this a pizza, which is fine by me but it tasted wonderful.

Val, MMMM – indeed.

Grace

says:

this is clearly superior to pizza, which i find is often abused by adding too much cheese. plus, those tomatoes are gorgeous and so very enticing.
maybe i’m adopted and actually greek after all…wishful thinking. :)

Núria

says:

Wow chico! Yeah, it looks like pizza and it has no CHEESE… this is my kind of dish!!!!!! :D I’m cooking this one soon, bet you!!!

Sorry boy for not commenting on all your posts, I’m really late to every blog :(. Please don’t take it bad… you know you are my favourite greek food blogging Chico :D

Peter G

says:

Better than pizza! A nice thick crust with lots of “ladi” is right up my alley! Looks great Peter .

Leslie

says:

NICE! I would probably eat the whole pie!
oh and for my Chocolate banana wontons..I did have a bit of an issue on the amount I ate..After shoveling a bunch in my mouth I finally had to dup them in the sink and pour water in them so they would get ruined and I wouldnt be able to eat them anymore! LOL! I have issues!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Amazing! It does indeed look like a pizza… Very appetizing and interesting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Fearless Kitchen

says:

This looks great. I tend to think it only looks like pizza until you get a closer look, but then again I’m really uptight about pizza! I can almost smell it cooking right now….

Leah

says:

Ooooh, I’m a deep dish girl, myself…..this looks fabulous — tomatoes and onions together are one of my favorite combinations. Nicely done as usual, Peter!

Jen of A2eatwrite

says:

Peter, this looks amazing! I’m definitely making this once tomato season hits in full. What a perfect summer dish. I’ve been learning so much about Greek cooking on your blog.

Peter M

says:

Grace, there’s a little Greek in everyone…I’m just bringin’ out with the food.

Nuria…YAY…no cheese, you can eat the whole thing. Chica, you’re my #1 Senorita!

Pete, good to see you slowly getting back in the blog world. I hope “Soul” is up & runnin’ soon.

Kittie, wait ’til you try the tomatoes in Greece…get on it!

Leslie, so what if we eat a whole pie, right? Next time you make your banana/chocolate thingies, I’ll unload them for ya.

Rosa, it does but it’s different too…fabulous recipe.

Diane, great for those that don’t like cheese too.

Jessica, I knew that when I started to smell this emanating from the oven…it was gonna be REAL good.

Leah, I’m surprised to find out there are so many deep-dish people out there…this one’s for you!

Jen, if you can’t wait, cherry tomatoes are usually good now too.

Patricia…this LAdenia would appeal to kids and adults alike.

Sam Sotiropoulos

says:

Peter, it looks amazing! Good job. As for using olive oil on the pan, I use it all the time without a hitch.

glamah16

says:

Looks amazing and very flavorful with the ripe tomatoes , and oregano. Great as appetizers I would imagine.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

says:

That looks like the best dang pizza I have ever seen, Peter! Blows lots of “Italian” pizzas right out of the water!

kat

says:

oh does this look fantastic! I am making this as soon as the tomatoes in the garden are ripe, I can taste the sweetness right now.

Mary

says:

My goodness this looks fabulous! I love that it has no cheese on it.

And lurking on your food blog has convinced me that I need to start trying to cook more Greek food. I’m so curious now!

joanne at frutto della passione

says:

Onion and tomato are my favourite pizza toppings, maybe I was Greek in a past life – or it could be the influence of living at Broadview and Danforth in my college years!

Christine

says:

This is the perfect dish for a 4th of July function I’m attending this weekend. I’ll be searching out those perfect tomatoes and making it tomorrow. Thanks Peter!

Peter M

says:

Sam, thanks so much…it was a wonderful surprise and I’ll give olive oil another try.

Glam, I’d think this would be great served as smaller bites (appetizers).

Jenn, pizza has it’s own place but Ladenia can fit in too!

Sandie…come & get it!

Kat, you’ll be well rewarded with a most delicious Ladenia.

Meghan, your welcome, welcome, most welcome!

Mary, I pleased that you want to try some Greek food…it is a fabulous cuisine.

Joanne, you Italians and us Greeks – we groove well together and perhaps your days on Broadview & Danforth did help a bit!

Giz, this was a huge hit…the overbearing Greek mom wants more!

Christine, this is perfect for anytime…have a wonderful & safe July 4 weekend.

Janulka

says:

Hi Peter, hi everyone,
ladenia is super easy and super tasty!
Give it a try and you will forget the pizza dough!
Is as simple as to drink a glass of water.

Janulka

says:

Thanks Laurie for your comment on olive oil used to oil the baking ban.
I use only olive oil in my kitchen while cooking or baking. No way I would use a vegetable oil! And it sure does not burn.
Especially in ladenia – the olive oil is very important – it gives the perfect taste to it.
Do not be affraid of olive oil! The Greeks use it all the time and everywhere.

Lori Lynn

says:

Simple straightforward ingredients combined to make perfection in the kitchen.

And, Ooh those roasted tomatoes. Lovely. Feeling sorry for the upstanding tomato farmers these days. Glad you posted this now.

Antonio Tahhan

says:

Peter, this pizza looks delicious!! I enjoy it when the pizza isn’t cluttered with sauce and too many toppings… tomatoes, onions and a few spices sound perfect.

Jeanne

says:

I would never have guessed from the first pic that there is no cheese involved! And it does look an awful lot like a pizza. Would be wonderful for lactose intolerant friends :)

Meeta

says:

Hi Peter, my first visit to your blog and this is what instantly caught my eye. I love Greece and Greek food. This looks perfect for a wonderful warm summer evening on the terrace with a bottle of chilled wine. I’ll bring the wine if you bake this up for me! LOL!

Nicole

says:

Fabulous! Do you deliver?
Ha ha… wish there were delivery places that had something NEAR what you make. Sometimes I just need to take a break and hauling 2 little ones to get food isn’t always easy.

Teresa

says:

Love it!!! What a great introduction to Greek food for my family. This is destined to become a family favorite. :-) I blogged about it today (and plan to make it again tomorrow!) Thanks for the recipe!

Teresa

says:

Peter,

Just wanted to let you know that this is my “Go To” recipe from now on. I made it for a party yesterday and it disappeared so quickly that I didn’t even get a piece! I can’t tell you how many people I met because they’d heard I was the one who made it and they wanted the recipe. Thanks again!

says:

This looks so good! I am definitely saving the recipe to make before garden tomatoes are gone. By the way, Ladenia is such a beautiful name:) Sounds human, too:)

says:

HI Peter
I think I am a Kalofagas too !
I have browsed your blog and love it : I hope You will like mine ; come and visit if you like French creative food you are very welcome and leave a comment in english it will make my day !! à bientôt Pierre

says:

Peter! Vacation man.
You know, I love pizza the next day even better when it’s cold with my morning coffee. Is that weird? Naw.
How are those blue waters feeling?

says:

I know I’ve been absent from commenting for a while but I saw this and had to drop in and say hello. This looks like my perfect pizza… err I mean Ladenia! Really, I could do without all the extra stuff if I could have the crust with some high quality tomatoes, onions and olive oil.

Shelly

says:

I love your recipes.. I wish they were easier to print. I usually have to print the whole page with pictures & comments & throw away the pages that dont have the recipe on them… is there an easier way?

Greg

says:

This is the Greek equivalent to “focaccia” in Italy. In Italy, focaccia is a thick, oily bread with toppings sometimes tomatoes and onions, other times you can find with olives or rosemary.

Regardless its great. More baking needs to be done with olive oil in this world, its delicious!

says:

This is the one dish that definitely reminds me of our man’ooshe here; same idea with the oregano (zaatar) and the topping that is simple and flavorful; will make it soon.

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