Friday, April 17, 2009

Whole Wheat Herb Flatbread with Prosciutto & Chevre

What a gorgeous Saturday!

Today was the first true Spring day Chicago has seen yet this year - it was sunny and 70 degrees, the perfect weather for bike riding by the lakeshore, a morning trip to the farmer's market, and general merrymaking.

And my trip to Green City Market was no ordinary jaunt, either; I had the pleasure of shopping alongside a local chef! I'm doing a little side project for a well-known caterer-cum-consultant who specializes in sustainability, and when he wanted to meet at the farmer's market to chat, I couldn't say no. He knows all the local farmers, and gave me the rundown on everything from amazing apple storage methods to which "green" farmers are actually riding around the backcountry roads in earth-hating Hummers. It was so great to get an insider's perspective on the market offerings.

I picked up a few ingredients there, including a nice green salad mix, which I knew would go nicely with the whole wheat flatbread that I'd been planning on since last night. Since making my own pizza dough recently, I had been wanting to try making it with whole wheat flour. It totally worked! Read on to see how to make it yourself.



For the dough, use the recipe from this post, substituting whole wheat flour for regular flour.**

**NOTE: The dough was stickier than white-flour dough when I began to knead it, so I used regular flour on my work surface while I was kneading, adding more as neccessary.

I added chopped rosemary, dill, sage, and parsley (very well chopped, about 1/2 c. total herbs) just before I started kneading. Over the course of the kneading, they became well-incorporated into the dough.

3-4 slices prosciutto, cut into strips
crumbled herb goat cheese
3 shallots, sliced thinly
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 T. olive oil for shallots, plus more for brushing on dough
freshly grated parmiagiano reggiano
salt and freshly ground pepper
red pepper flakes
sprinkling of cornmeal for the pizza stone


Follow the directions for the dough. Leave dough in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight (you can use it immediately, but it is a bit harder to work with).


Preheat the oven to 425. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Cook the shallots until caramelized, adding sugar in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time. Set aside.


Roll out dough until desired thickness (I like my thin). Brush the pizza stone with olive oil, then sprinkle with cornmeal.


Brush the dough with olive oil, then season with a little salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Top with goat cheese, proscuitto, and parmigiano reggiano. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, watching pizza closely. Cooking times will vary depending on the oven, etc. Slice and enjoy!

The slight sweetness of the dough was balanced by the saltiness of the prosciutto, and the creaminess of the goat cheese was a nice complement to the crisp crust. The only thing I felt was missing was a little something to dip the flatbread in - it was a tad on the dry side. Next time, I'd just have some marinara handy for dipping, just like you would for a calzone. The salad, which was nothing more than the lettuce mix drizzled with a simple dressing of lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, and olive oil, was light, crisp, and springy.

I'm really happy that the whole wheat flour worked out - I can see many a whole wheat pizza in my future!

Thanks for reading! More soon...

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