Monday, August 30, 2010

Meatless Monday - Tomato Flatbread

Tomato plants across my neighborhood are producing so much fruit that you can often see the bright red produce exchanging hands; "I have so many tomatoes, I don't know what to do with them!"  Pots of herbs are also sprouting fragrant leafs, waiting to be brought into the kitchen to add brightness to dishes.

Here is a delicious meatless meal that can help you use some of them up.  The dough is so moist and delicious, you'd think an Italian chef prepared it himself.

Flatbread with Summer Tomatoes

For the dough:
  • 1 package of dry instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 & 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 T olive oil
For the rest:
  • 2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, sliced in thing slices
  • 4 oz. fresh mozarella or goat cheese
  • 2 T chopped fresh herbs, such as chives and parsley
  • Handful of fresh basil
To make the dough: Dissolve the yeast in the water and sit for 5 minutes.  Sift in flour, salt and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Add the oil, knead for a bit in the bowl, then turn out to a floured surface.  Knead until a soft dough forms.

Line a large glass bowl with olive oil.  Add dough ball and cover with a warm, damp kitchen towel.  Let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size.  Punch dough down, and let rise, covered, an additional hour.

Roll dough out to approximately 15x10 inches.  Slide onto a cookie sheet, cover again with damp towel, and let rise for one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Arrange tomato slices on a stack of paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt and place a few more paper towels on top.  Lightly press down to remove excess juices. 

Arrange tomato slices over dough and top evenly with cheese.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with herbs, arrange basil, and crack additional black pepper on top, if desired.

Slice, and enjoy!


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