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Some like it hot. But even if you embrace the heat of summer, most people prefer to stay out of the kitchen and near the grill. Jen, Scott and Evie Lynch, owners of La Fortuna Pizza, offer a great alternative to brats and burgers—grilled flatbread “pizzas.” The La Fortuna gang spend most days in front of their 900-degree wood-fired pizza oven, where they cook up made-to-order pizzas using seasonal produce and local meats and cheeses. Here they share their simple yet standout dough recipe, and offer a few topping ideas to create this tasty variation on crowd-pleasing pizza that is perfect for the grill. The tender-yet-crispy, bursting-with-flavor flatbreads showcase the abundance of fresh produce available at our farmers’ markets. This recipe will keep you out of the kitchen, in the garden or the market and popular with the neighbors!
RECIPE: Pesto and Roasted Tomato Flatbread
Flatbread Dough (Find a recipe below or purchase 12 ounces of dough at a grocery store) 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved Olive oil and salt for grilling dough Basil pesto 8 oz Parmesan or another hard cheese, shaved
If making dough, let it rest 3–6 hours; if using commercially prepared dough, let it rest in the fridge 2–3 hours.
Heat a grill to about 400 degrees and oil a grill basket. Add tomato halves and grill 5–8 minutes, until they are shriveled and the juice has caramelized but not blackened. If using a charcoal grill, coals should be evenly distributed and well-ashed. While the tomatoes are on the grill, shape the flatbread into a thin disk on a lightly floured surface—use your hands, not a rolling pin. Once the dough is flat and approximately 1/4 inch thick, use the fingers of both hands to dimple dough all over. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet. Brush oil and sprinkle salt on the face-up side so it is now oiled on both sides. Slap the dough straight on the grill grate—make sure it is flat with no flip or folds. Grill until slightly charred on first side; flip and repeat. Pull it the flatbread off the grill quickly. Spread pesto, place tomatoes and sprinkle cheese on top.
Makes two 14-inch flatbreads.
RECIPE: Flatbread Dough
3 3/4 scooped and leveled cups of all-purpose white or bread flour (500 grams)* 2 teaspoons salt 1/4–1/2 tsp quick rise or instant yeast** 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water (330 grams) *These measurements are very precise! Scott weighs his ingredients, but if you do not have a scale, be as exact as possible. **For 1/4 tsp instant yeast, the dough must rest 6 hours at room temperature; for 1/2 tsp yeast, the dough must rest 3 hours. Dough can be refrigerated up to 3 days before resting at room temperature.
In a stand mixer or with your hands, mix all ingredients until flour is incorporated, about 5 minutes. The dough should be stretchy but should tear when pulled thin. Divide the dough in half and shape two balls. Lightly flour a countertop and place the dough on the floured surface. Cover dough (the Lynches use an upturned plastic tub) and let it rest 3–6 hours (this allows the gluten to develop and the yeast to activate).
Other Awesome Flavor Ideas
•Add grilled zucchini and onions topped with finely shaved Parmesan or Provolone cheese and freshly snipped basil. •Grill halved small potatoes smashed with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. When the potatoes are the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes, spread them on the grilled bread and top with crispy crumbled bacon. •Spread the flatbread with creamy goat cheese and top with shaved fennel, sliced and roasted beets, lots of black pepper and shaved Parmesan. •Top with olive oil of butter and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.
Otehlia Cassidy is a Madison writer and cook with a passion for local foods and culinary adventures. Read her blog, , and find more recipes .