Good morning everyone. I was feeling inspired yesterday after a particularly stressful day at work. l left work and needed to de-stress…so what’s a girl to do? I picked up some flowers and made some flower arrangements. I also made one of my all time favorite quick dinners. Literally this flatbread takes 20 minutes. I also had a large pour of Chardonnay after a really long walk in the neighborhood 🙂 Yes, I do cook for a living, but sometimes nothing relaxes me more than pouring a glass of wine, putting on some music and cooking something healthful and delicious for myself. Even after I have cooked and tested recipes the majority of my day, it is a different feeling when I am in the comfort of my own home and I don’t have a deadline!
I love buying roses for myself…it feels romantic and I usually do, but yesterday I picked up some beautiful, colorful mixes and made arrangements that were aesthetically pleasing to me. I also love to use flour bins or pitchers, found in my kitchen, for the vases to give a more rustic feel than a glass vase every time.
Flowers are a purchase that I will gladly make at anytime. Even if I do not plan to have anyone over, it is an investment I make weekly to make myself feel important. To feel that “I’m worth the extra attention to detail in my home.” Seriously, think about all of the things you usually do to celebrate someone or make an occasion special. Buying fresh flowers, baking a cake, buying specialty chocolates from a chocolate shop, opening a bottle of Champagne, purchasing a dress or beautiful lingerie….I thought about it and wrote a long list down about a year ago and I now have implemented these celebratory acts into my daily life. Not to celebrate anything in particular, but simply to celebrate life.
Next onto this most delicious dinner that takes me right to Italy…well almost, but it is quick and very tasty!
I usually crave this about once per week…I top my flatbread with my sauce (I will share below) whole milk buffalo mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, a sprinkle of sea salt and truffle oil. Other combinations I use are blue cheese and thyme with fresh arugula, or another favorite, goat cheese and caramelized onion. I can give you many more flavor combinations, but for now I will share the flat bread dough, sauce and completed mushroom dish. In Italy, pizza originated in Naples and was more like a flatbread with very little cheese and lots of vegetables. It is very different in America now with double crust, large amounts of cheese, and all different cuts of meat to top it off. This recipe takes us back to pizza the way it was intended and started in Italy. I promise you will not miss all of the extra bread and cheese. You will be surprised to know that this is relatively low in calories as well…. the picture above totaled about 400 calories. I will not usually talk about numeric numbers while eating such as carb grams or calories as it is very non-french and not my lifestyle. The point of mentioning it here is that this flatbread tastes too good to be healthy…literally you may as well be eating pizza…
This dough recipe makes 4 flatbread rectangles….
1 cup AP Flour (or bread flour)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup warm water (plus extra if necessary)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
I use a kitchen aid mixer for this but I am a true believer in any bread dough being made by hand. This is a very simple recipe and can definitely be made by hand. Combine your flour and salt, add your oil to warm water. Add water to flour and mix with a dough hook (or knead by hand) for 5 minutes until combined. (You could also do this in a food processor until you have a soft dough ball) Sometimes I have to add just a tablespoon or two more water to original recipe listed. With floured hands turn dough out onto a floured surface and cut into four equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll dough to a large rectangle….or circle doesn’t matter but dough should be about 1/8 inch thickness. To keep from sticking to surface dust constantly with flour. Use a rolling pin as well to help you roll and shape. Repeat with all four portions. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or greased parchment and preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. Place flatbread rectangles on your baking sheet. Next make your quick tomato sauce and mushrooms sauté. (Below)
Take a pint of cremini mushrooms (or any mushroom you love) and sauté in a little olive oil or butter over medium high heat. Once mushrooms are browned, add a little salt, pepper and lemon juice. Taste the mushrooms…if they are not delicious then add more salt or lemon juice until you love them! Set aside until you are ready to top your pizza.
I usually take a can of crushed tomatoes from my pantry and warm them in a pot. I then add salt, a dash of pepper, dried basil, a small pinch of chili flake, and dried oregano. In addition, (I swear by this)…add a little sherry vinegar. Just a pour to taste. It will add this delicious background flavor note. I promise …(not sherry cooking wine…sherry vinegar (there is a difference)
Next, top your flatbreads with tomato sauce (1/3 -1/2 cup) and top with sliced buffalo mozzarella (about 1-2 oz to each flatbread). Cover each flatbread evenly with mushrooms and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. (Cheese should be bubbly and golden brown and flatbread should be crisp but not burned on edges.) Then remove from oven and put a few drops of truffle oil on each flatbread if you wish. TO DIE FOR!