Spring is upon us! Cool down with this refreshing and delicious spring flatbread comprising of a basil almond pesto, tasty bruschetta, and fresh arugula! It’s super quick to create and can easily please your guests. Serve this as an appetizer or as a main course dish alongside a protein such as BBQ ribs or top the flatbread with some grilled chicken.
serves 2-4 people
- 750g pizza dough (we used store bought but you could make your own)
- 1 cup of raw almonds
- 2¼ cups of fresh basil (stems removed)
- 4-5 vine ripened tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ a red onion
- 1 jalapeño (seeds removed based upon desired heat)
- 250g of ricotta cheese
- 1 cup pecorino romano cheese
- 2 pinches of nutmeg
- 3 handfuls of arugula
- 2 lemons
- olive oil
- sea salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 450° convection bake. To begin, flour your surface, place your dough down and sprinkle some more flour on the top of the dough ball. Press down the dough using your fingers to form it into a large rectangular shape (or circular if that’s what you’re into) that is the same size as your baking stone or sheet. Sprinkle some additional flour (or cornmeal if you have it handy) onto your baking stone and transfer your dough to the stone. Drizzle some olive oil atop the dough and place it into the oven until it begins to brown on the peaks and edges, around 10 minutes.
In the meantime we are going to create a bruschetta, ricotta and the almond basil pesto for the top of our flatbread. Keep an eye on the flatbread in the oven as to ensure it doesn’t burn – you may need to remove it from the oven before you finish the prep below.
Dice your tomatoes into medium/small chunks (again preference in texture plays a role here) and put them into a mixing bowl. Smash and mince your garlic clove, finely chop ½ a red onion, your deseeded jalapeño, 3-4 large basil leaves and toss them all into the mix. Add some high quality olive oil along with salt & pepper to taste. Let the flavours marinate before using a sieve to drain & discard the juices.
In another mixing bowl, combine your ricotta cheese, nutmeg, the juice of one lemon and salt & pepper. Incorporate all of the ingredients well.
Basil Almond Pesto
In a Vitamix or high powered food processor add your almonds, 2 cups of basil, the juice of your other lemon, olive oil, salt and filtered water as needed. Pulse the mixture until it reaches a chunky spreadable dip like consistency. This pesto recipe is from Rich Roll & Julie Piatt’s The PlantPower Way vegan cookbook which I highly recommend.
Ok! We’re in pretty good shape to start assembly on our flatbread. Hot out of the oven you will first spread a layer of the basil almond pesto, drop dollops of ricotta across our masterpiece, followed by a layer of our beautiful bruschetta and then evenly place the arugula on the next layer. Finally finish the flatbread with shavings of pecorino romano cheese (parmigiano reggiano will also suffice) and drizzle high quality olive oil across the entire dish.
Grab some friends and enjoy!