Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 1-25-2016 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Scrumptious and healthy, this grilled vegetable flatbread makes a filling and delicious meal. We've added a balsamic drizzle to make it over-the-top yummy! We made two versions: a Grilled Ratatouille Flatbread and a Grilled Mushroom Flatbread.
We show you how to grill vegetables on your stovetop, and then bake the rest of the recipe in your oven. Having delicious grilled vegetables in the middle of winter is a REAL treat! If the weather allows, you can grill these vegetables on an outdoor grill.
Since it is winter as we are doing this tutorial, we chose to use a cast iron stove-top grill, which does an AMAZING job.
We chose to grill the vegetables because the high heat caramelizes the sugars in them, and gives just the hint of smoke from the grill. Most vegetables love the grill. However a few with high water content, such as cucumbers, celery, and most leafy lettuce greens, don't grill well, except for Romaine.
The Basic Flatbread dough recipe we created turns out crispier than pizza dough and makes a nice cracker-like base counterpart to the flavorful vegetables. We drizzle the final result with a garlicky balsamic glaze to guild the lily, so to speak.
We use vegetables in this recipe what we call "Ugly Produce"! They taste the same as "beautiful" vegetables, by the way.
BREAD RECIPE HELP
Some might see the cremini or white mushrooms in the photo below, and think that they are going bad.
In fact, mushrooms with exposed gills have the most flavor of all.
3 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
1 red onion
1 large eggplant
8 ounces shitake mushrooms
8 ounces cremini or white mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought; can substitute with thick tomato sauce or tomato paste
Basil leaves, for garnish
Stove Top Griddle (used for this tutorial because it has a large surface area) or Stephen's Stovetop BBQ*
*SARAH SAYS: I tested Stephen's Stovetop BBQ, and it is one of the best I have ever used. I used it when grilling shrimp, asparagus, and pink grapefruit.
Pizza stone or baking sheet
Shred the mozzarella on the large holes of a grater.
STEP I: PREPARE THE BASIC FLATBREAD DOUGH
1. Prepare the Basic Flatbread recipe to this step in that recipe:
5. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Turn the ball of dough over, so it is oiled all over.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the bowl and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about an hour.
2. Complete the Steps, below.
STEP II: PREPARE THE VEGETABLES
Red, Yellow, or Orange Bell Peppers:
1. Put peppers on an open flame and cook, turning often, until the skin is blackened all over.
2. Put the charred peppers in a bowl, and cover the bowl with a plate.
Let the hot peppers steam for 20 minutes.
This will help loosen the skin.
3. Peel off as much of the charred skin as possible, then cut off the tops of the peppers to remove the seeds.
Rinse the peppers under cold running water.
4. Cut one side of the pepper open, so it will lie flat on your cutting board.
Cut the peppers into 1/4-inch strips.
4. Season the peppers with one teaspoon of Kelly's garlic oil and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper.
1. Cut the ends off of the zucchini, then cut them in half, lengthwise.
Cut the zucchini about 1/8-inch thick, using a mandolin slicer.
If you do not have a mandolin, carefully cut them with a very sharp chef’s knife.
2. Brush both sides of the slices LIGHTLY with the garlic oil, then season them LIGHTLY with salt and freshly ground pepper.
1. Cut the red onion using the mandolin.
Cut them slightly thicker than the zucchini, so the rounds stay intact, when grilled.
Brush with oil and sprinkle with s&p, just as you did with the zucchini.
1. Trim the ends off the eggplant, and peel it with a vegetable peeler.
Use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut the eggplant into rounds, that are a little thinner than 1/4-inch thick.
Brush both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
1. Trim the tough stems off the shitake mushrooms, and discard because they are inedible.
2. Then oil and season them, as done with the vegetables, above.
Cremini or white mushrooms:
1. Cut the cremini or white mushrooms in half, vertically, then oil and season with salt and pepper.
STEP III: GRILL THE VEGETABLES
1. Brush the grill lightly with oil. Turn on the heat to medium-high and heat the grill.
NOTE: We used the Stove Top Griddle for this tutorial. It covers two burners. Turn on both burners.
2. Place the vegetables on the oiled hot grill, leaving enough room between the slices so you can turn them easily.
3. Grill, without moving them, until there are distinct grill marks, then flip the slices over.
A thin metal spatula will help you flip them, without tearing the slices.
3. Place the grilled vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set aside while you make the flatbread dough.
STEP IV: HEAT THE OVEN. FORM THE BASIC FLATBREAD DOUGH. ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE GRILLED VEGETABLE FLATBREADS.
We made two versions: a Grilled Ratatouille Flatbread and a Grilled Mushroom Flatbread.
Heat the oven.
Form the Basic Flatbread dough.
1. Position an oven shelf to the lower third of the oven. Place a pizza stone on the shelf.
2. Heat the oven to to 475 to 500 degrees F for about 30 minutes.
NOTE: If not using a pizza stone, then position the oven shelf and heat the oven.
3. Punch down the Basic Flatbread dough, then cut it in half with a bench scraper.
Place one section of dough back in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until needed.
2. Lightly flour your work surface.
Press remaining section of dough into a rough square, then roll it out to a 13- x 13-inch square.
Dough will be quite thin.
3. Fold dough in half, and transfer it to a 15- x 15-inch piece of parchment.
Unfold the dough, and re-stretch the dough into a square.
GRILLED RATATOUILLE FLATBREAD:
1. Slide the formed flatbread onto a pizza peel by pulling on the edge of the parchment paper.
NOTE: If using a baking sheet, turn it over, and slide the formed flatbread onto the backside of the pan.
2. Spread half of the the pesto over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.
2. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and half of the parmesan cheeses evenly on top of the pesto.
3. Place grilled eggplant slices around the edge of the flatbread.
4. Add two rows of grilled zucchini in the center of the flatbread.
5. Add a row of grilled red onion rings where the eggplant and zucchini meet.
6. Add a some of the roasted pepper strips over the grilled zucchini.
7. Transfer the flatbread to the pizza stone, using the peel.
Pull the far edge of the parchment to help correctly position the flatbread on the pizza stone.
NOTE: If using a baking sheet, just place it in the oven.
8. Bake the flatbread for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the dough are nicely browned.
NOTE: If using a baking sheet, the pizza may take a bit longer.
9. Remove the flatbread from the oven using the pizza peel. Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze.
10. Add whole basil leaves around the edge before serving.
Cut into slices with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, and serve.
GRILLED MUSHROOM FLATBREAD:
1. Repeat steps, above: Form the Basic Flatbread dough, with the second half of the Basic Flatbread dough.
2. Add remaining pesto and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, then place the grilled cremini mushrooms around the edge of the flatbread.
2. Add overlapping strips of zucchini, creating a rectangle shape.
3. Arrange the grilled shitake mushrooms evenly over the zucchini strips.
4. Roll roasted pepper strips into a rosette shape and place them in the center of the zucchini “frame”.
Press them into the cheese to retain their shape.
NOTE: Alternate the colors to create an attractive look.
5.Transfer the flatbread to the pizza stone, using the peel.