summer supper

 
it’s Tuesday, and we’re sadly back from the boardwalk… onto the working week.

I sincerely hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend. I have lots to tell you about our vacation to the beach (to visit the folks)—involving all kinds of delicious, delicious food. Andrew and I spent quality time with parents, cousins, “Uncle Buck”, friends, and my brand-new cousin Ruby Ta.

Beyond memories, we returned home with an abundance of leftovers and ingredients I’d lugged to the Eastern Shore: shredded cheese, bread flour, tomatoes, etc.

On Saturday, Andrew and I baked four fantastic homemade pizzas. I can’t wait to tell you about this dough recipe, you must make it! I froze two additional dough discs, unbaked, to create something yummy at home. Last night, we returned to our apartment near 1am, and it was 87 degrees in our home. Today’s weather was no help—you can imagine I wasn’t in the mood for a piping hot dinner. But that dough in the freezer was too delicious to pass up for something quick. 

Oh, and did I mention my parents sent me some homemade olive oil from their trip to Italy?

Yes, it finally arrived, 100% Italiano, made in the home of a winemaker my folks met. Well, I couldn’t just bring home this beautiful bottle of oil, this delicious dough, and pass up a quick dinner now could I??

Here is a simple, improvised flatbread I made tonight to accompany a tasty 2-minute salad. It was a light, appropriately-summer meal in itself, but an evening ice-cream date topped the evening off nicely.

FOR THE FLATBREAD

Roll out your dough as thin as possibly possible. This would be just as quick with puff pastry, though not as thin and scrumptious. In my next post, I’ll re-write the recipe for this thin, sweet, to-die-for dough.

When Andrew and I made pizza over the weekend, we baked three pizzas on pizza stones, coating the bottoms lightly with fine bread flour (as we forgot cornmeal). Well, we had more pizza and no more stones—and, sure enough, the last pizza that bakes on an upside-down oiled cookie sheet turned out divine.

why mess with what works?

  

I rolled the dough on the back of a shiny jelly roll pan so the heat didn’t have to work so hard to get to the edges. More importantly, it’s way easier to retrieve your crispy bread from a flat surface than to finagle a spatula in there. Rub the sheet with nearly a tablespoon of olive oil before rolling the dough over it.

THE TOPPINGS

I used some scraps on hand: half a head of garlic, two small onions, a teeny bit of shredded mozzarella and white cheddar, fresh parmesan, and a few little cherry tomatoes. You could top this with anything, and to whatever extent you like. Though it seems like I used a number of ingredients, I kept the amounts minimal, as I wanted this to be more of a flavored bread than a pizza.

I sliced two small yellow onions (any kind will do, even red would be delicious here) into half-inch slices, and stirred them over low heat in half a tablespoon of butter and about a teaspoon of olive oil. Though I usually sprinkle a pinch of sugar over caramelized onions, I didn’t feel like dragging the kitchen chair over to reach the cabinet with the sugar. I added only two big pinches of kosher salt (use less salt if it’s not kosher), and they sweetened remarkably.

Regardless of what you prefer on your flatbread, and how elaborate or minimal you make it, do consider caramelized onions. They’re an experience unto themselves.

Stir once in a while, and drop in some water if the onions start sticking to the bottom.

TOP YOUR FLATBREAD!

Brush the entire surface of the dough with a gentle layer of olive oil. I stirred in roasted garlic to my oil, and though subtle, I think it contributed to the sweetness of the bread.

Though the order is absolutely your preference, I brushed the dough with roasted garlic oil, distributed the caramelized onions, sprinkled with a small amount of mozzarella and white cheddar, and a generous grating of parmesan cheese. Then I sliced some fresh cherry tomatoes, and brushed the cut sides with just a little bit of oil to help them cook.

Andrew teases me about my lack of dough-rolling abilities, as seen in the obscure shapes of these slabs of decadent dough. I think it looks, er, rustic. Right?

BAKE IT

Slide the cookie sheet into a 400 F oven. For our pizzas over the weekend, we cooked them about 450-475 F, but I really didn’t want to burn my little bit of toppings here. The dough was definitely cooked through in about eight minutes.

For those eight minutes, why not make a delicious, easy-peasy summer salad? I just tossed some fresh lettuce with my favorite vinaigrette: juice of one lemon, olive oil and honey whisked in until it doesn’t taste too lemony, salt and pepper and a drop of balsamic. And presto!

This dressing takes about two minutes (max) to make, so it’s great to have in the fridge. I just stirred the bit I had leftover from this weekend and had a really fresh salad in about 45 seconds! Some hazelnuts from the assorted nut collection in the fridge and that’s one dandy salad.

Check on your flatbread after about five minutes, and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. This dough bakes so quickly and appears to have the fragility of paper, but give it a chance to brown a little once cooked through.

What next?

Remove from oven and drool. Maybe toss some basil or parsley on top?

this crust is sturdy, yet beautifully transparent when you work it with your rolling pin

Thin yet flaky—what did I tell you? This is tried and true, stay tuned for the dough recipe soon!

 

This is a fantastic dinner, and on a hot, heavy day like this one, it’s nice not to feel bogged down after a meal.

Still, since you’re not overly stuffed, why not suggest your spouse/friend/cat treat you to some gelatto or something?

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2 Comments

Filed under dinners, here to share, lickety-quick

2 responses to “summer supper

  1. rachael

    dear linds,

    again, you’ve presented us with a simple yet flavorful meal using the best and freshest ingredients. not only does your scrummy flatbread make a great light meal, but also makes for a fab midnight snack or party food.

    mind you, its 6:50 am here and i’m ravenous so yes, your flatbread will be on my mind till i get around to making breakfast. heck, i want flatbread for breakfast!

    i would love to make this with fresh roasted peppers, paprika for a richer spice, sauteed mushrooms, and a good handful of ground herbs!
    love it!
    happy eats,
    rx

  2. Andrew

    Oh, I forgot about that flatbread, that was good!

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