Grilled Flatbread with Ramp, Green Garlic & Pistachio Pesto

Since I started cooking more of what I call ‘Californian cuisine’ starting this month, my husband mentioned how he was missing the flatbreads & breads I was making while cooking Middle eastern & Indian food a while ago. So I decided to treat him to a very spring inspired grilled flatbread. With Memorial Day here this weekend (how did time fly?!!), it's almost grilling season and this bread is as good a reason as any to bring out the grill. The pesto that goes on top is so good that I couldn't stop dipping my fingers in it while prepping food. And vegetarians, take note. This is perfect served as a main with a side salad, which is what I did for our lunch.

I'm seriously in awe of how simple and easy Cook Beautiful's recipes are and yet how delicious they are turning out to be. I've only gone through spring and summer recipes so far, but I bet fall and winter recipes are just as gorgeous and delicious. I can't wait to be inspired by this book again & again later this year!

There are a few components to this bread but if you start the bread dough a day ahead of time, then it comes together pretty quickly. If you like having pesto around to go with pasta, I highly recommend doubling the recipe. I had a little leftover that went on an avocado sandwich which we took hiking and it made the sandwich far, far superior than a plain avocado sandwich would have. It’s worth the exorbitant price of ramps to make this. I might make another batch to freeze before wild foraged ramps are done.

Recipe adapted from Cook Beautiful, Athena Calderone
Makes 5-6 servings

Yogurt Flatbread:
6 tbsp warm water (95-110 f)
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
113 gm Greek yogurt (~1/2 cup)
2 tbsp olive oil

Ramp, Green Garlic & Pistachio Pesto:
2 tbsp butter
4 oz ramps, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
2 green garlic, bulbs and pale green parts only, coarsely chopped
1/3 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 oz pecorino romano cheese
30 gm raw pistachios (~1/4 cup)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup water, plus a tbsp or so more if needed

1 lb zucchini, sliced on the diagonal
1 tbsp sunflower oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp lime juice

1 cup pea shoots

Mix yeast with warm water (95 - 110 F) in a wide bowl you can use for kneading and let mixture sit for 15 minutes. Whisk flour with salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and add this flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Whisk greek yogurt with olive oil in the same medium bowl and add it to the flour too. Using your hands, knead the dough for about 10 minutes till soft and supple. You might need additional water. I used 2-3 tbsp more. Make sure you only add the water a tbsp at a time to not make the dough too wet. Transfer the dough to the medium bowl that you mixed the yogurt in and wrap it in plastic wrap and set it in a warm spot to rise till doubled, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough and refrigerate overnight (or do a second rise again at room temp for another hour). If refrigerated, bring down to room temperature next day for 2-4 hours. Roll it out on a well floured surface to a large rectangle approximately 11X18" (about 1/8" thick). Brush a long piece of foil paper with oil and invert this rolled out dough over it.
Preheat grill for 10 minutes on high. Transfer the flatbread to the grill by inverting the foil over the grill and removing foil and grilling on medium low heat for 5-6 minutes on each side till nicely grilled and cooked through. Set aside to cool while you grill the zucchini.
Toss zucchini with oil, salt, thyme and lime juice and grill on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side till nicely grilled and tender.
In the meantime, heat butter on medium heat in a pan till melted. Add ramps and green garlic and saute for 5 minutes till lightly colored. Let cool a little and blend with the rest of the ingredients listed under pesto. You might need to add a bit more water to your food processor to make the pesto smooth and spreadable.
Spread the pesto on top of the flatbread and scatter grilled zucchini slices on top along with pea shoots. Cut into 12 pieces and serve.


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