FACT: when you call pizza "flatbread," it has fewer calories. Just kidding. But it DOES give you license to get super creative with toppings––pepperoni isn't invited to THIS pizza party. This flatbread was inspired by a pizza I ate once in Chicago, with roasted green grapes and taleggio. In fact, that was my first taleggio experience, but it stuck with me. Taleggio is a semi-soft, washed-rind, aged cow's milk cheese that's less creamy than Brie, but not as intense as a lot of "stinky" cheese out there. It melts beautifully, and its slightly funk tang pairs incredibly well with grapes.
I used an organic taleggio from Whole Foods (check out their organic cheese sale this Wednesday, 1/20, if you happen to be in Brooklyn), and I used firm red grapes because I wanted the color contrast with the silky white cheese. If you've never roasted grapes before, give it a try––just toss them with a little olive oil and sea salt, and roast at 425 for about an hour, until they've burst and released some of their liquid. It was a miracle my grapes made it onto the flatbread, because I just wanted to eat the whole bowl of roasted grapes by themselves. They'd be perfect spooned over a pork tenderloin or duck leg...or even used to top a salad, with some crunchy walnuts and maybe some goat cheese. Let them inspire you!
The dough recipe here is my go-to pizza dough recipe (an old Emeril Lagasse classic); I substituted half the white flour for whole wheat flour (because January), but you could do all whole wheat, or all white flour. The only change I make to the basic recipe is adding a squeeze of honey, and then adding in a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary (you could also use thyme, if rosemary's not your thing). You could also skip this step entirely and just use pre-made pizza dough, then just sprinkle the rosemary on the dough underneath the cheese and grapes.
Here's to a healthy, homemade January! Happy cooking :)
RECIPE: ROASTED GRAPE & TALEGGIO FLATBREAD WITH ROSEMARY DOUGH
1 recipe Emeril's pizza dough
1/2 lb. organic taleggio cheese (if you can't find taleggio, try fontina, gouda, or Brie)
2 cups red grapes, removed from stems
1 tsp. olive oil
handful of raw almonds, roughly chopped
red pepper flakes (optional)
olive oil for brushing
2 stems fresh rosemary (1 Tablespoon finely chopped; just pick the leave off the rest)
1. Make the pizza dough according to the instructions, subbing whole wheat flour for part of the white flour if you want. Add a squeeze of honey to the water/salt/yeast/oil mixture. Add the chopped rosemary. Once the dough has doubled in size, give it a quick mini-knead, then spread it out on an oiled baking sheet, as thin as you can get it without tearing the dough. Rub the top side with a little olive oil.
2. Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the grapes in olive oil with a little sea salt; roast for about an hour, until grapes have burst and released their liquid. Remove from oven and transfer grapes to a bowl using a slotted spoon (leave the juice behind and reserve it if you wish).
3. Turn oven up to 475. Tear the taleggio into small pieces. Scatter it around over the dough in even intervals. Scatter the grapes (trying not to get too much liquid on the dough) around the flatbread. Scatter the chopped almonds all around. Top with grated Parmagiano--don't be shy. Sprinkle everything with a little sea salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes if you want.
4. Bake the flatbread for about 15 minutes, until dough is cooked and taleggio is melted and lightly brown in some spots. Remove from oven, transfer carefully to a cutting surface, and cut into pieces. Top with more Parmagiano. Enjoy!