I think I’m still in denial that it’s springtime. I’m still waiting to wake up and see that which should not be mentioned falling from the sky. And the weatherman laughing at me as I get my winter boots back out of the closet. SOB. It’s actually been feeling more like summer here in Boston, which has me happier than you can even imagine. 80 degrees!! My heaven. While we were in the depths of our horrendous winter, I promised myself and everyone around me that I wouldn’t complain about the heat AT ALL this summer. And I won’t. Now I’m promising you, too. I’ve actually been on three different trips in as many weeks and am craving some home time where I can just sit on my deck and warm myself with the sun. My deck that isn’t currently covered in anything white (just a little yellow… pollen) and that is about to have a whole new set of furniture delivered to it. Spring… Summer… omg. Happiness!
This recipe was a failure waiting to happen. I wanted to make a springlike flatbread and wrote up a whole grand recipe filled with asparagus, goat cheese, and prosciutto. When I went to make the flatbread, I realized I was going to have a few roadblocks… I ate all my asparagus and goat cheese the Saturday night before (oops?) and my prosciutto was covered with a not-so-appetizing layer of mold (that’s what I get for buying an 18-pound package of it at Wegman’s). OK, so all I was really working with was some flatbread dough and eggs at this point. But it turns out that’s all I really needed! I subbed the asparagus for peas, the goat cheese for ricotta, and the prosciutto for spicy capicola.
I almost always have at least 14 lemons in my fridge at all times and would probably break into a cold sweat if I ever ran out of parmesan cheese. So, my original idea for the flatbread’s dough was saved. Making fun flatbread doughs is one of my favorite hobbies; it can transform a pizza so much. And once you have the basic recipe down, you can really do anything with it. This one is a Lemon Parmesan Dough.
To whip it up, gently stir together 3/4 T yeast and 1 1/2 C water in a large bowl and let rest for 2 minutes. Stir in 3/4 T salt, 1 t sugar, 1 T honey, 1/8 C extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 t lemon zest into the mixture. With a wooden spoon, mix 3 C flour into the mixture. If dough is dry, add more water, 1 T at a time. Then, gently knead 1/4 C parmesan cheese into the dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm spot for about 2 hours. Dough should rise during this time. You can either use it right away or wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
When you are ready to use, pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a pizza stone or foil-covered pan in oven while it’s heating.
While oven is heating, roll dough into a large thin round on a floured surface. This dough recipe makes enough for 2 large rounds. If you want to use both, make sure you double the toppings in the recipe.
Once hot, remove the pizza stone or foil-covered pan from oven, sprinkle flour over it, and place the dough round on top.
In a small bowl, whisk together minced garlic clove and 2 T olive oil. Brush over dough’s surface.
Sprinkle 3/4 C peas, 1 C ricotta cheese, 3 slices chopped capicola (you could also use prosciutto or salami), and 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese on top of dough.
Bake flatbread for 9-12 minutes at 450 degrees, until edges of dough are nice and crispy.
Because everyone knows that flatbread is always better when topped with eggs, I couldn’t resist. Sometimes I crack my eggs right on the pizza and let it bake, but I really wanted these eggs to be cooked perfectly, so I fried them up separately while the flatbread was cooking.
Heat a frying pan lightly coated in oil over medium-low heat and fry 3 eggs. Remove flatbread from oven.
Top flatbread with fried eggs, slice, and serve.
I’m actually pretty thrilled that I messed up so royally on the ingredients because I’m not sure this could have turned out any better. I used to despise ricotta cheese, but I’m really not sure what was wrong with me.
Now, I want ricotta on every single pizza I eat. Honestly, ricotta wins over goat cheese on this one. The ricotta paired with the lemony flatbread crust? This is my new favorite thing ever.
I suppose we could argue about the asparagus versus peas here. And while I do agree that asparagus would have brought this flatbread to a totally different level, I also just loved that I put peas on pizza. Say what you will about peas, I think they’re so springy and awesome. Even when they come right out of your freezer.
I love prosciutto more than most things in life, but spicy capicola? Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to see those two in a boxing ring. Things would get scary. And I think spicy capicola may just have a that little extra pep needed to win the fight.
Eggs weren’t in my original plan either, but were a fabulous last-minute addition. Eggs should always be in every plan.
And this springtime flatbread should be on every menu. You could even get away with serving it for brunch. And when I say “get away with,” I mean, make your friends very happy brunch guests.
I hope you had time to get out and enjoy the weather this weekend! I hope this is a sign of a very long and joyous spring and summer!
What’s your favorite springy ingredient?
- 1/2 batch Lemon Parmesan Flatbread Dough recipe below
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2 T olive oil
- 3/4 C peas
- 1 C crumbled ricotta cheese
- 3 slices spicy capicola diced (you could also use salami or prosciutto)
- 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
- 3 eggs
- ¾ T rapid rise granulated yeast
- 1½ C lukewarm water
- ¾ T salt
- 1 t sugar
- 1 T honey
- ⅛ C extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 T fresh lemon zest
- 3 C unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 C parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pizza stone or foil-covered pan in oven while it's heating
On a floured surface, roll dough out into a large round.
Remove pizza stone or foil-covered pan from oven, sprinkle flour over, and place dough round on top.
In a small bowl, whisk together minced garlic and olive oil. Brush over dough surface.
Sprinkle peas, ricotta cheese, capicola, and parmesan on top of dough.
Bake for 9-12 minutes at 450 degrees, until edges of dough are crispy.
While flatbread is cooking, heat a frying pan lightly coated in oil over medium-low heat and fry 3 eggs.
Top flatbreads with fried eggs, slice, and serve.
Mix yeast and water in a large bowl and let rest for 2 minutes.
Stir salt, sugar, honey, extra-virgin olive oil, and lemon zest into the mixture.
With a wooden spoon, mix the flour into the mixture. If dough is dry, add more water, 1 T at a time.
Gently knead parmesan cheese into the dough.
Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot for about 2 hours. Dough should rise during this time.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Recipe makes enough for two large flatbreads.