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Author Notes: My husband and I love grilled pizza or flatbread. When the weather is good we make it almost every week. Flavor combinations are practically infinite, so we never get sick of it. I used quick preserved lemons (Mark Bittman style) and mild Castelvetrano olives with red onion, chevré, and Pecorino Romano. By all means use traditionally preserved lemons if you've got them. These toppings were inspired by the contest theme, and will definitely make it into the rotation. —hardlikearmour
Makes 4 individual flatbreads
Quick Preserved Lemons à la Bittman
- 1 large or 2 small lemons (Eureka or Meyer's)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used Diamond)
- If you are using organic lemons give them a good rinse. If you are not, wash well with produce wash, then rinse really well under hot water to remove wax residue.
- Slice the ends off of the lemon(s), exposing the pulp. Discard the ends. Cut the lemon(s) into 1/4- to 3/8-inch slices, then cut each slice into matchsticks, then cut matchsticks into dice. Make sure to remove the seeds as you find them. I use a flexible cutting mat to make transferring the lemon and accumulated juice to a bowl easier.
- Transfer lemon and juice to a bowl, then add sugar and salt and mix well. Transfer everything to a 1/2-pint jar with a lid or seal. Seal jar and leave on counter for 3 to 4 hours, shaking occasionally. Transfer to refrigerator. Will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
Mediterranean Grilled Flatbread
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing on dough
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Ras el Hanout
- 1 pound (or so) pizza dough
- flour for dusting sheet pan or pizza peel
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (about 2 oz)
- 4 very thin half-moons of red onion, separted into strands
- 1/4 to 1/3 cups quick preserved lemons
- 10 to 12 Castelvetrano olives, pitted and torn into quarters
- 4 ounces fresh chevré, crumbled (easiest to do if very cold)
- aleppo pepper (optional)
- If pizza dough is refrigerated, bring to room temperature. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a small pan until shimmering. While oil is heating put the garlic and Ras el Hanout into a small, heat-proof bowl. Pour hot oil into bowl. It will bubble furiously for a bit. Allow to cool to room temperature, and infuse for at least 30 minutes. (Cooks note: I do this step then do the rest of my prep while the oil is cooling.)
- Heat gas grill by turning all burners to high. Before grilling dough make sure to reduce heat to medium high. If you are using a charcoal grill, please research how to grill pizza before proceeding.
- Divide pizza dough into 4 equal pieces, then form each piece into an egg shape. Keep dough under a damp clean cloth whenever it is not being worked. Take one dough piece and flatten it with your hands until it is an oval that is about 1/2-inch thick. Stretch the dough until it is about 1/4-inch thick. (I generally use a combination of holding the dough with one hand and stretching an edge with the other, and allowing half of the dough to dangle off the edge of the counter to stretch it.) The dough will likely need to relax before you will be able to stretch it to the desired thinness. Flatten and stretch each dough piece once, then go back and stretch each piece a second time. Don't forget to cover your dough when it is not being worked!
- Carefully transfer each dough piece to an unrimmed baking sheet or pizza peel that has been lightly dusted with flour. I generally use 2 sheets to fit all 4 dough pieces. Brush tops of each dough piece with plain EVOO. Carefully slide you hand under each dough piece and flip it over onto the grill. (I typically cook 2 at a time as that is what easily fits on my grill. If you have a larger grill you may be able to do 4 at once.) Wipe the baking sheet or peel with paper towels to remove residual flour. Pierce air bubbles that form on surface of dough with a fork. Grill dough until dark grill marks form, which will only take a minute or two. Brush tops of dough with EVOO, then using tongs flip over (grilled side will be up) onto the baking sheet or peel. Reduce grill heat to medium.
- Brush dough with the oil you seasoned in step 4. Sprinkle each piece with 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, followed by red onion strands from one half-moon, about 1 to 1 & 1/2 T preserved lemon, 10 to 12 olive quarters, and 1 ounce chevré. Slide dough pieces back onto the grill, shut the lid and grill until the dough bottoms have nice grill marks and the cheese has melted (about 2 to 4 minutes.) Use tongs to remove to sheet pan, sprinkle with aleppo pepper if desired, and serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Citrus & Olives