Zucchini Flatbread

Zucchini Flat Bread

Since zucchini season is almost winding down, and I’m certain that many of you may be at your wit’s end trying to create something new with those last few summer squash in your refrigerator, I thought that I should publish this recipe post that I created earlier in the summer.  Though it is a little late, the old adage “better late than never” still rings true, especially after enjoying the bounty of summer squash for several weeks now.  So take advantage of the last few zucchini of the season and enjoy this simple, quick, and fresh flatbread any time of day, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

{Recipe after the jump.}

It is summer squash season, and Red Hook Community Farms has squash in overabundance right now.  I know that my crisper is overflowing with them at this point.  That’s hardly a bad thing though.  I’ve found summer squash to be one of the more versatile ingredients of the summer garden.  You can cut it and cook it in a variety of ways, coaxing different flavors from it by mixing it with other ingredients for very different tastes and textures.

The standby way to cook summer squash is to slice it and cook it in a little oil or butter, perhaps with some garlic or other seasonings, or perhaps to steam it.  Cooking the squash in these ways works fine, and produces a quick and tasty vegetable dish in minutes.  This time, though, we’re going to try a method that’s quick as well,  but is going to give us some unexpectedly tasty results and will be a full meal as a bonus.  This flatbread recipe uses store bought pita bread or flatbread of your choice, and then adds wonderful toppings of shaved summer squash and squash blossoms along with tomato, egg, ricotta cheese, olive oil, and spices to create a wonderfully rich flatbread that’s quick to make at home. — Adam Gregory

Summer Squash Flat Bread IngredientsZucchini Flatbread

Servings: 4

Cooking time: around 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-large size pitas (uncut) or other flatbread
  • 2 CSA summer squash (medium or larger)
  • 1 cup CSA cherry tomatoes, sliced, or 1 large CSA  heirloom tomato, diced
  • 4 CSA squash blossoms (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 CSA eggs
  • 2 tbs + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbs zaatar spice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbs grated parmesan, ricotta salata, or other hard cheese (optional)

Directions:

1)    Wash your vegetables and dry them, taking special care with the squash blossoms to ensure there are no bugs hiding in the flowers.  I know, that sounds off putting, but for farm fresh vegetables, it’s a step we need to take.  Also, line the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil and preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  The foil will keep any spillover from the pizza from burning in the bottom of your oven.

2)    Cut the ends off the summer squash.  Using a peeler or mandolin style slicer, make round slices of zucchini, as thin as you can make them, while trying to keep the cuts even and the same size.  You can do this with a knife as well, but you probably won’t get them as thin as you need to.  Toss the slices with 1 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

3)    Slice or dice your tomatoes.  If you are using cherry tomatoes, you’ll want to remove any stem and slice them thinly.  If you’re using heirloom tomatoes, cut them into quarters, remove the seeds and stem ends, and then cut them into a small dice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

4)    Slice your squash blossoms into quarters, removing the stem.  Set aside.

5)    Season your ricotta with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

6)    Either brush the 2 tbs olive oil evenly onto the four pitas/flatbreads, or drizzle the olive oil over the breads and spread it evenly by hand.  Season the flatbreads with the Za’atar spice.  If you’ve never used Za’atar spice before, it’s a middle eastern blend of thyme, oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, and perhaps other spices.  It’s available in many markets and middle eastern specialty stores.

7)    Spread the ricotta evenly over the flatbreads.  Leave a ring around the edge as you’d see on a pizza.  Top with the tomato and summer squash, leaving a little empty space in the center for the egg.  Scatter the squash blossom leaves over the top.

8)    This next steps require that you move quickly.  You’ve going to set the pizzas onto the oven rack, crack an egg into the center, season, and close the oven.  So make sure you have everything ready for the next two steps.

9)    Working quickly, place up to two flatbreads at a time into your preheated oven directly on the oven rack.  Be careful not to let the ingredients fall onto the bottom of the oven.  Pull the rack out if you can, because trying to set flatbreads directly into the back of the even can be a bad idea.  Keeping the oven open and the rack extended, quickly move to the next step.

10)    Using the freshest eggs that you have (since the egg whites and yolks are firmest with fresh eggs), crack an egg and place in the center of the each pizza.  The open space you left should keep the egg from spreading out too much.  Season the egg with salt and pepper.  Work as quickly as possible here, as the longer you leave the oven open, the more the oven temperature drops, and the greater chance you have of your eggs dripping onto the bottom of your oven.

11)    Bake for around 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 400, and bake another 8-10 minutes or until the egg is set and the flatbread bottom is crispy.

12)    Remove the flatbreads from the oven and let cool for a minute before serving.  Try grating a little cheese, such as Parmesan or ricotta salata, over the top.

Enjoy!

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