Mediterranean Grilled Flatbread

February 7, 2011


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

Ingredients

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)

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)
In This Recipe

Directions

Quick Preserved Lemons à la Bittman

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

More Great Recipes:
Flatbread|Bread|Pizza|Mediterranean|Cheese|Sheet Pan|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Vegetarian|Side|Snack|Hors D'Oeuvre

Reviews (17) Questions (1)

17 Reviews

Fran M. February 10, 2011
WHAT IS RAS EL HANOUT?
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour February 15, 2011
Sorry for the delay in response. I must've missed the e-mail note. Ras el Hanout is a Moroccan spice blend. The name translates to "head of the shop." I got mine from World Spice Merchants, but have seen recipes for making it as well. http://www.worldspice.com/blends/0459raselhanout.shtml
 
Midge February 8, 2011
With grilled lamb? Yum! Always looking for an excuse to use ras el hanout.
 
healthierkitchen February 8, 2011
or sausage? Merguez?
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour February 8, 2011
You could definitely have the flat bread as a first course! Lamb or Merguez would certainly go with the Mediterranean theme. Maybe make some baklava for dessert.
 
gingerroot February 8, 2011
Oh yum! I can almost taste this...I love your use of ras el hanout in this, I have been using it lately and it adds such an interesting depth of flavor.
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour February 8, 2011
Thanks, gingerroot! I made some with just garlic infused oil and some with the ras el hanout & garlic oil, and the ras el hanout made a big difference. Like you, I found it added a nice depth of flavor.
 
healthierkitchen February 7, 2011
Yup! Just about to make some preserved Meyer lemons which will be ready by the time I can get to my barbecue.
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour February 7, 2011
I should've added you can use real preserved lemons for this, though the little bit of sugar in the quick preserved ones is nice. My husband prefers them to traditional ones.
 
dymnyno February 7, 2011
Oh my! I will clean off the grill today and make this today...we are having summer weather here (for now)
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour February 7, 2011
Let me know how it goes if you make it, there is still time for tweaking! We've been having inexplicably nice weather here, yesterday it was pretty sunny and hit 55º F. Pretty sweet for Portland in February as you well know!
 
aargersi February 7, 2011
We just assembled our new grill yesterday - will have to try this next weekend when I have time to make pizza dough - yummy! We grill year round here ....
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour February 7, 2011
I seriously love grilled pizza, it's probably my favorite food. I'm glad others can enjoy the grill year round, too!
 
drbabs February 7, 2011
Yes, ms. hardlikearmour, you are making those of us who would have to wade through many inches of snow to get to our grills quite jealous! Great recipe--can't wait till summer! (For a lot of reasons....)
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour February 7, 2011
Sorry, drbabs. I did feel some guilt about posting this. Maybe this indoor technique would work. http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/06/how-to-grill-pizza-indoors-recipe.html
 
mrslarkin February 7, 2011
This looks crazy good!
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour February 7, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin! I thought it tasted pretty darn good. I did feel kinda bad about submitting a grill recipe for all the snow covered folks, but I just had to do it.