I was entering some recipes on the index last week, and noticed I was a little heavy on desserts, and sparse on appetizers. Wow! Surprising. Since I could practically live on desserts and appetizers. So, while sitting at a double header (I know it’s FOOTBALL season, not thrilled about the fall baseball thing, but trying to be a supportive non-martyr-mother) I flipped through September Bon Appetit, and found several yummy looking recipes. This recipe caught my eye. It originates from the Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore. Flatbread. Love it. Pears and goat cheese – is there a more perfect combo? Add a little spinach, sauteed onion, grainy Dijon and cream. Can you say Chick food?
Spiced Pear Flatbreads with Goat Cheese and Mustard Cream
adapted from Bon Appetit September 2009
30 minutes before cooking flatbreads, preheat oven with *pizza stone or baking sheet placed in oven upside down, to 500 degrees.
6 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon water
pinch of kosher salt
Whisk together in bowl. Set aside.
3 cups flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup plus 7 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon yeast
2 firm but ripe Bosc pears (I used red pears for color) halved lengthwise, cored
5 cups arugula or spinach
8 oz crumbled goat cheese
1/2 chopped sauteed onion, (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with a dough hook. Beat at low speed until dough forms and comes away from side of bowl, about 2 minutes. Scrape dough off hook. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes. Clean hook and re attach to mixer. Mix dough at medium speed for about 2-3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic again and let rise until light and slightly puffed about 1 hour.
Using floured hands, turn dough out onto floured surface, turning and kneading a few times until dough is no longer sticky. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Cover and chill for 45 minutes. (I skipped this step)
Topping & Assembly
Cut pear halves vertically into 1/4 inch thick slices. Brush both sides with oil and place on foil lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a little cayenne. Bake in oven at 350-400 for about 7-10 minutes or just until pears loose their shape. Or- just throw the pears into the oven that is preheating to bake the pizzas for about 5 minutes.
Stretch and roll each dough ball into a 9 inch round . Place on a floured rimless baking sheet or pizza peel. Brush dough with oil, sprinkle with sea salt. Scatter spinach over dough. Drizzle lightly with oil. Top with pear slices, sauteed onion and 1/4 of cheese. Slide flatbread onto hot pizza stone or baking sheet in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and crisp and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining flatbreads.
Transfer flatbreads to plates. Drizzle with mustard cream, slice and serve.
-*If you don’t have a pizza stone, check out this article for an inexpensive way to create your own at home.
-I also added fresh mozzarella to one pizza. If you like nuts, pine nuts would be a perfect addition too.
-Don’t overload the flatbread. If you want to try different toppings, stick to 3-4 per flatbread. In the world of flatbreads appetizers, in my opinion, less is more.
-We ate these hot out of the oven, but they were also good later in the evening at room temperature. Perfect party appetizer.