Introduction: Flatbread Appetizer W/roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese (aka Yummy Appetizer)
Welcome to my rip-off of Bertucci's* Roasted Tomato and Flatbread appetizer. On our next trip to the restaurant, after first trying this dish, my Dear Wife said, "What was that yummy appetizer we got last time?" and so it was rechristened Yummy Appetizer.
This dish is essentially a deconstructed pizza, where the dough is baked plain with olive oil and herbs, and the sauce and cheese are cooked in a separate dish and used for dipping. The cheese in the original is chevré, but I have used feta, and - in a pinch - grated Parmesan.
If you need a recipe for dough, I've thoughtfully included one in my other Instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-pizza-4/
Ingredients (2-4 servings):
- 18-20 oz Pizza Dough (see link above)
- Olive Oil (Extra Virgin is what I use)
- 16 oz Crushed Tomatoes (I just use canned. If you read the pizza 'ible, I go on and on about tomatoes)
- Spices: Pepper, Basil, Rosemary, Oregano, Salt
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- 2-3 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese, feta or any other crumbled cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Pizza pan, sheet pan, or pizza stone
- oven-safe baking dish (2 cup capacity or so)
* - For those who don't know, Bertucci's is a U.S. chain restaurant featuring Italian dishes prepared in a wood-fired brick-oven. Use of their name should not be construed as an endorsement, blah-blah, etc.
Step 1: Prepare the Tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 520 F. (Yes, very hot). Mind your smoke detectors. They may go off. Mine usually do.
Put about two cups of crushed tomatoes in an oven-safe dish. Stir in the minced garlic (you can omit the garlic if you like, it's not in the original). The cooks at the restaurant usually roast the tomatoes with a sprig of fresh oregano, but I usually just sprinkle on a little dried oregano for flavor.
Sprinkle a little salt on the tomatoes. Crumble some cheese on top, then sprinkle lightly with olive oil.
Bake on a separate rack than the one you'll use for the flatbread. If you need to do one at a time, cook the tomatoes first, as they will need to cool before you can dig in.
Cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese has been somewhat browned. I've been known to put the dish under the broiler right at the end to brown the cheese more quickly, but it's generally not necessary.
Step 2: Prepare Flatbread
An 18 oz dough ball will make an 18-inch flatbread. You can trim down the dough to fit the pan, or make it thicker and give the bread a little more time in the oven.
If you're using a sheet pan, grease it lightly with olive oil.
Liberally flour the dough, flatten it a little with your hands, and then continue to spread it out with a rolling pin. Using a rolling pin (sort of) cuts down on the bubbles and helps keep the thickness even. Keep it about the same size and shape of your pan to minimize having parts that are too thick or too thin. Transfer to the pan to finish spreading/shaping the dough.
Sprinkle the dough with olive oil. Using a brush, spread the oil evenly on the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with a little salt, fresh ground black pepper, basil, rosemary, and Parmesan.
Bake for about 4-5 minutes. Check the flatbread. It will probably have a few bubbles. Use something long and sharp (like a barbeque fork) to deflate the bubbles. Unless you like bubbles. Continue to bake another 3-4 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.
Step 3: Slice Flatbread and Serve
Remove the flatbread from the pan.
I usually slice it in wedges like a pizza (like they do in the restaurant version). You can do whatever makes you happy. Some people do squares. Once, I heard a guy did trapezoids.
Serve it to your guests. Watch it disappear. Watch your little, birdlike female friends, who can never eat more than two slices of pizza mow through this dish like a combine harvester in a cornfield. Watch. It's amusing.
Suggestions, corrections, and questions are welcome. Cheers!
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