Washington Roasted Vegetable Flatbread

Washington Roasted Vegetable Flatbread
  • Difficulty:

    2
  • Prep Time:

    15m
  • Total Time:

    55m
  • Servings:

    6

Description

Pizza might be the king of the "flatbreads" category, but it's not the only game in town. Try this flatbread topped with ricotta and roasted vegetables for an entertainingly different take on the theme. Summertime might be peak season for many kinds of vegetables, but autumn is no slouch either. Plenty of sturdy greens are in season now, as well as leeks and more traditional autumn vegetables such as squashes. Roasting your fall vegetables – even the greens – is one way to concentrate their flavors and bring out their natural sweetness. Showcase them on wedges of flatbread with the gently savory flavor of herbed ricotta.

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 3 slender local, organic leeks
  • 1 bunch local organic kale
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 small delicata or sweet dumpling squash, or 1 acorn squash
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) locally produced ricotta cheese, drained well
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup toasted walnut pieces, or ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 large artisan flatbread (9"x13" or greater) or 2-4 smaller ones

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 375° F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Trim the root ends from the leeks and slice the white portion of the leeks into ¼" rounds. Separate the rings with your fingers and rinse them well in a bowl of cold water to remove any soil that might be trapped between the layers. Drain thoroughly in a colander.
  3. Cut or pinch the tough stems from the kale. Tear them into large pieces, then rinse the leaves under cold water and spin them dry. Peel the two cloves of garlic and set them aside.
  4. Remove the skin from the squashes with a sharp peeler or paring knife. Cut them into ¼" thick slices. Stack the slices and cut them again into bite-sized pieces, ¾"-1" long.
  5. Transfer the leeks and garlic to a mixing bowl and drizzle with part of the oil. Lift them from the bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon, letting any excess oil drip away. Spread them across part of the sheet pan. Repeat this same process with the kale and squash until the pan is full.
  6. Roast the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. The garlic and leeks should be tender and lightly browned, and the kale should be crisp and lightly charred in places.
  7. Remove the other vegetables from the sheet and return the squash to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until it's completely tender and slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 425° F.
  8. Retrieve the two cloves of roasted garlic from among the leeks and mash them in a small mixing bowl. Add the ricotta, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir until they're well mixed. Spread the ricotta mixture across the flatbread, then top it with the roasted vegetables. Garnish with the nuts if you're using them.
  9. Bake the flatbread for 4-5 minutes until the bread and cheese are heated through and the kale has regained its crispness. Remove from the oven, slice into wedges, and serve immediately.

Tips

Use the basic recipe with any combination of vegetables you enjoy. Remove each vegetable from the oven when it's tender or caramelized, and keep warm until it's time to assemble the flatbread and toppings.

If you'd like to bake your own fresh flatbread rather than buying it, use your favorite from-scratch recipe and stretch it to a flat round or oblong. Long-rising bread gives the best flavor, but frozen pizza dough will work in a pinch.

Drizzle the finished flatbread with a few drops of lemon juice or good vinegar to brighten its flavors, or add chopped fresh herbs to taste before it goes into the oven.

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