Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dinner & a movie :: Tomato and Ricotta Flatbread

After a long week we decided to stay in on Friday night, make dinner, and watch a movie.   We got hooked on a marathon of HGTV house hunting shows and never got to the movie, but we did make dinner with some of my finds from the farmer's market earlier in the day. 

I had a few rounds of pizza dough and thought that a flatbread would be perfect base to top with fresh ricotta, and the ripe tomatoes!  Since my ingredients were so fresh I wanted to make sure to not overcook them so I baked the crust first, then added my toppings and lightly browned.  Everything but the dough was from this morning's market.

TIP: Pizza dough is great to have around, you can have it plain if you pop it in the oven brushed with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper (imagine paired w/a rustic looking cheese board), or top with veggies/cheeses/meats for an easy dinner.  

Here's what I came up with, but experiment with your own ingredients ... I'm already thinking of what I can pair next time! :-)

FRESH TOMATO & RICOTTA FLATBREAD (for 2, with possibility of leftovers!)
2 rounds store bought pizza dough
2 large, ripe tomatoes (1/4" slices)
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 an onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chiffonades of basil (chiffonade: technique of cutting herbs into long strips)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Sprinkling of Parmesan
Flour for rolling out the dough

1. Defrost pizza dough if frozen. I left mine out at room temperature before going to work and it was perfectly defrosted by the time I wanted to make dinner.  
2. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly flour the surface where you are rolling out the dough (resist the urge and don't flip the dough, mid-air...believe me, I tried and ended up with a big mess...oops)
3. With a rolling pin (if you don't have one, use a large can or glass bottle) roll out the dough to about 12 inches. You can roll it round, but I find it easier to get a neat rectangular shape.
4. Lightly brush one side of the rolled dough with olive oil, and place this side face down on your baking sheet. Repeat for second round of dough.
5. Place in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly browned.
6. While dough is in the oven, in a skillet saute chopped onion and garlic until caramelized.  This will sweeten the taste. Remember to start browning onions, then add garlic after a couple minutes, garlic burns easily.  Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
7. When dough is ready remove from the oven, and turn the crusts over, the side you brushed with olive oil will now be on top.
8. Start assembling your flatbreads! I start with the slices of tomato (which I've drizzled with olive oil and salt), and then the sliced mushrooms (also drizzled with olive oil before - to prevent drying out when you place in the oven). I then crumble the ricotta making sure there's cheese in every bite, then the basil, and sauteed onions and garlic.  I top with a light sprinkle of Parmesan.
9. Return to oven for another 5-8 minutes. 
10. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a minute or so. Slice and enjoy!

We ate most of it, but a small leftover slice was our breakfast this morning. I think next time I might make 3 just for the leftovers!

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