What to do with all that zucchini in the garden? Lookin’ for a great appetizer? Need an interesting bread for dinner? Lunch maybe? How about a few drop in guests on the patio? I have just the right answer to all these questions – ZUCCHINI AND POTATO FLATBREAD. Flatbread is a great and versatile thing. It can be an appetizer with wine or cocktails. It can accompany your meal as a rustic homemade bread. It can be lunch! You choose!
This is an easy and fun recipe. Get everyone in on the act – your grandchildren, your kids? You can even enlist those drop-in guests. They’ll love you for it. So fun – so easy – soooo good!
I had just this experience the other day when a neighbor dropped by for a Friday night Martini while I was preparing some of this incredibly delicious flatbread. I had her at the front door actually when she smelled the garlic roasting and then followed the aroma to the kitchen. She was amazed at how quickly it all came together and said she wasn’t leaving until she tried some. Well, she did – and followed her first bite with a loud OMG and eyes that I thought might just pop right out. ( FYI – this is always a good sign) In other words – success! It was amore!
The dough: I use my mother, Loretta’s, pizza dough which is easy to make. Visit: Pizza – That’s Amore for the recipe – guaranteed to be the best pizza dough you’ll ever taste! OK so I’m just a little bit biased maybe? But, it’s not just me. My husband doesn’t like to order pizza anymore because he says the crust doesn’t measure up. My book designer, Doc, who lives in San Francisco and has access to good Italian food and ingredients, says I’ve spoiled him forever with this dough. He can no longer go out for pizza! It is very easy to make, and the flavor and consistency – perfect. I like to make it when I don’t need it and freeze it for when I do need it. The recipe makes 4 loaves. I wrap each one individually and always have it available. I just pull it out of the freezer a few hours ahead and let it defrost.
The ingredients: Pretty straight forward here – freshness being of utmost importance as always. As far as ingredients go – this flatbread is all about layering them and achieving several levels of flavor that combine for maximum impact. In other words, YOU NEED ALL OF THEM!
The roasted garlic is VERY important here. It gives the flatbread a layer of flavor that you cannot duplicate without it. If you have followed my posts in the past, you know the high regard I have for roasted garlic. It is easy to make, has so many uses, and the roasting transforms it from strong to mild and nutty. The flavor of roasted garlic is nothing like the raw garlic, and those who may not appreciate it in its usual form should really give it a go. It is wonderful stuff!
This is a great way to use some of that good seasonal zucchini. The zucchini and potato are sliced paper thin. You can do this with a sharp knife or use a mandolin like I do – a handy tool that slices to the thickness desired in nothing flat! It is very easy to find in any store that sells cooking gadgets. This is what it looks like:
The Rosemary – fresh as ALWAYS! Hopefully you have some growing in your garden. Maybe your neighbor has some you can steal when he/she isn’t looking – or yes ask to “borrow” some. If not, you can always find it at your grocer. The Rosemary is necessary. Do not substitute something else – not all herbs impart the same flavor!
The cheeses – Gorgonzola or Blue combined with the Parmigiano – these are the ones you want for this flatbread. The combo is fantastico!
And of course – the Extra Virgin drizzle is the ribbon that ties up this package. Choose a good one that has more of a peppery finish.
Some tips: This is not pizza. We are not making this on the grill and charring the edges and bottom like a Napoletano pizzaiolo. Instead, we make this in the oven with a little olive oil under the dough – baking at 450 until golden. We want a more bread like consistency with a little more oil dominance. Follow the directions – you’ll get the idea!
ZUCCHINI AND POTATO FLATBREAD
Makes: one large flatbread (Serves 4-6)
Prep: 15 minutes + time to make the dough
Cook: 35-40 minutes
1 loaf pizza dough – Recipe HERE
2 Whole Bulbs Roasted Garlic ( instructions below)
1 Medium Zucchini – skins on – sliced VERY thinly
1 Medium Potato or 2-3 small ones – skins on – sliced very thinly
3 Sprigs Rosemary – chop and use the leaves
3/4 C. Crumbled Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese
3 –4 Tbsp. Parmigiano – Reggiano Cheese – grated
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Make your pizza dough – recipe noted in the ingredients list – highly recommended. You can make it ahead and freeze it like I do. If so – defrost it the morning of the day you intend to use it.
Roast two garlic bulbs: Take each whole bulb and peel off outer leaves leaving inner skins on and bulb intact. Cut off the top of the bulb at the “pointy” end exposing the tops of the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and add a little salt. Place in foil and seal up like a package. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Remove from the foil carefully – they will be hot. Let the bulbs cool a little until ready to use.
Slice your zucchini and potato – paper thin. A mandolin is a good tool for this as shown and explained in the post. If you don’t have one – use a sharp knife.
You are ready to make your flatbread!
Roll out your dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured board.
Take a sheet pan and rub it with a little olive oil. Then place the dough on the pan. Rub the top of the dough with a little olive oil.
Take your roasted garlic bulbs, turning them upside down – squeeze each bulb. The cooked cloves will slide right out onto the dough. Squeeze them all out. Then take a fork and mash them around on the dough.
Lay the zucchini slices, overlapping a little, in a long row on the long edge of the dough. Follow this with a row of potato slices also overlapping slightly.
Repeat with another row of zucchini and potato.
Sprinkle on the Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese. Then follow with the Parmigiano.
Top with the fresh Rosemary leaves.
It’s time for a generous drizzle of a beautiful Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Bake this in a 450 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
And now you have ZUCCHINI AND POTATO FLATBREAD!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography