I love group efforts. Whether it’s a fire engine barreling through a busy street after all the cars have dutifully moved aside or its a group of six people squished at a cafe table offering to share computer chargers just to make life easier, I get emotional. Sometimes I get a little weepy, but I’m not, like, a wreck or anything. I just feel inspired, like, A League of Their Own inspired when Dotti drops the ball for her sister Kit. Small acts inspire me to be a better person.
The Latin meaning of “inspire”, inspirare, is “to breathe life into.” One of the most rewarding aspects of having this blog is the pressure to create something new on a regular basis. I have no idea what kind of person I would be today if I hadn’t found my way to cooking; it’s a hobby that has transformed me. I’m grateful for it, too, because it doesn’t take much not to feel inspired every day. People can be annoying, mean, competitive and hurtful.
My mom always says that you have to make your own luck in this world. It’s completely true. And the best we can all do is to have one corner of our life that is beautiful and bright where we make our own inspiration, too. What inspires you? What do you breathe life into?
This is a risky statement, but I think this is my favorite dish I’ve posted on this blog. This flatbread is phenomenal, made from the last remnants of refrigerator items. I love how those kinds of dishes are almost always the best ones where you’ve struggled to make the most with what you’ve got. This is a fantastic appetizer, party dish, dinner or lunch. Crack an egg on top, bake in the oven a little longer, and it would make a great breakfast, too. Not only does it look absolutely gorgeous, but it comes together pretty quickly and, well, tastes deceivingly gourmet. Let the dough brown up a bit in the oven while the edges of the potato crisp, the lemon sweetens, and the mozzarella melts and colors this gorgeous flatbread. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh tarragon and you’re on your way! Enjoy!
Serves: dough recipe makes 2 small pizzas (each serve two people)
Dough recipe from The Kitchn
For the dough:
3/4 c lukewarm water
1 tsp instant yeast
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
For the toppings: (I’ve provided proportions, but use any amount of the following vegetables)
1 garlic clove; crushed
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt (plus a pinch)
1/2 tomato; thinly sliced
1/4 yellow beet; thinly sliced
1/2 meyer lemon; thinly sliced
1/4 potato; thinly sliced
1 radish; thinly sliced
1/2 burrata mozarella ball; dotted all over the flatbread
How To Do It:
For the dough: combine the water and yeast in a mixing bowl, and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until you’ve formed a shaggy dough.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface along with any loose flour still in the bowl. Knead until all the flour is incorporated, and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it’s sticking to your hands and counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it is smooth.
If you have time, you can let the dough rise until you need it or until doubled in bulk (about an hour and a half). After rising, you can use the dough or refrigerate it for up to three days.
Cover the dough with the upside-down mixing bowl or a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the toppings.
For the toppings: Roll out the flatbread. Brush (with your fingers or brush) the olive oil all over, including on the edges. Rub the crushed garlic all over the dough, allowing pieces to break off randomly. If they seem large, just cut them a bit and place randomly. Sprinkle with the salt (reserving the pinch for later). Lay the toppings, alternating among the vegetables for color and completely covering the dough. Try and place the lemons in different places and same with the tomatoes (just for color, really). When you’re finished, sprinkle with the pinch of salt. Place in the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the pizza have browned and the vegetables look fairly crisped. Top with tarragon and serve. Enjoy!