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Food Pr0n: Potato and Radicchio Flatbread

Posted Dec 16 2009 6:53pm

091216 uncooked When I think too much about everything I have to do in the next 12 days I get panicked. Yes, my apartment is tiny, but I have lived here for three and a half years and I’ve really nested in here. I keep reminding myself that packing then moving across the country in a U-Haul through the midwest in the dead of winter would cause anyone anxiety. This is mainly the reason that I haven’t had much time to cook lately, and I miss it. So, in the midst of all of this chaos, I chose to make my own pizza dough and create this lovely flatbread. Procrastination is a skill, folks, you have to work hard to get it right.

I’m not sure I understand the difference between pizza and flatbread, except the pizza generally has a sauce (except for mine) and is round. Flatbread, to me, should be rectangular. The debate is pointless to me, as long as it tastes good. I started out this recipe by making the dough a day ahead and storing it in the fridge. I timed myself, it took 7 minutes and 15 seconds to prepare the dough. I then ran an errand while it rose, et voila, convenience for the next evening’s meal.

The choice for toppings was random, centering on the vague idea of a potato flatbread. I picked up a few red potatoes and was on the lookout for leeks, which were nowhere to be found. I guess they are out of season now. I DID run across some lovely radicchio , and thanks to the handy seasonal veggie tool , I knew it was in season. The choice of cheese was also purely coincidental. They had some Gruyère out for sampling at the Whole Foods and I thought the nuttiness would go well with the bitterness of the radicchio. Gruyère is a mild stinky cheese, but don’t be put off by the stank. Once it melts it’s mellow and adds a nice bit of saltiness.

The results were satisfying and fantastically simple, the perfect comfort food for me. If you aren’t up to preparing your own dough you can buy refrigerated pizza dough. I recommend slicing the potato paper thin so they will cook all the way through. I use a mandolin slicer to do that, but you could use a sharp knife and your mad knife skills and get the same result. Now I seriously need to get to my packing :-)

Non-natural lighting. Meh.

Non-natural lighting. Meh.

Dough recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4
Total time 2.5 hours, but only 30 minutes is hands on (look at how I justify this behavior here)
Cost per serving $4

For the dough:
3/4 cups white flour
3/4 cups wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the topping:
2 oz. Gruyère
1/2 head of radicchio (save the other half for a salad)
1 medium red potato
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 glug of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper

  1. Mix the flours, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add the water and olive oil, stirring mixture into a ball. You will probably not be able to make it into a homogenous ball, but there’s an easy fix for that. Smitten Kitchen says to dump everything onto a floured surface and let it sit, covered by the empty bowl, for a few minutes. When you come back to it you should be able to incorporate every bit into a ball.
  2. Knead the dough a few times: fold it in half, press it with the palms of your hands, turn it a quarter turn, repeat. Lightly oil the bowl and roll the dough ball around the bowl to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1-2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
  3. Dump the dough back onto the floured surface and press the air out of it. Make it into a ball again and let it rest covered for another 20 minutes. At this point you can wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight.
  4. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle some cornmeal on a cookie sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle. Place it on the cookie sheet.
  5. Grate the Gruyère on the large holes of a box grater and set aside.
  6. Coarsely chop the radicchio and slice the potatoes thin. Place the veggies and the onions in a large bowl and add a nice big glug of olive oil, the salt and some black pepper to taste. Toss the veggies to coat.
  7. Pick out the potato slices and layer on the rolled out dough. Dump the radicchio and onion on top, then sprinkle with the cheese.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and let the flatbread rest a minute or two. Cut into squares and enjoy.

I didn’t create a nutrition label for this recipe because, frankly, I couldn’t be bothered to. I’m not as concerned about the minutia of nutrition for the next few days. As long as I don’t resort to fast food, I figure I’m doing all right.

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