Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rustic Flatbread with Grilled Peppers and Summer Squash

Finn the Cooking Assistant returns next week.  The hungry boy has a full week scheduled--napping, yard sniffing, and garden foraging.  I love that we share the same passion--not yard sniffing, but local food. This week I'm back to one of our favorites--Rustic Flatbread.

I've been making this recipe all summer.  Before I discovered this recipe idea for flatbread, I couldn't get pizza to turn out no matter what I did.  Even the packaged dough from Trader Joes mocked my pizza skills and refused to morph into something edible.  This recipe with cooked grain added is easy and forgiving.  My kind of recipe since our goal is to eat dinner at home.

First--take note of what's in season.  Market or garden produce is the best choice. Check out the deals--it's zucchini deal season, in case you haven't noticed.

This weekend you can get a hefty dose of fresh produce and entertainment at the 25th Annual Tilth Harvest Fair at the Good Shepherd's center in Wallingford from 10 to 4pm.  From 11 to 1pm is a bring-your-own-homemade-goods for Backyard Barter's bartering.  Who isn't intrigued by a barter party?

Tilth Harvest Fair is has a long-standing tradition in Seattle, I remember when I attended this Fair the first time in 1987 with my mom and daughter.  In addition to the music and mouthwatering cooked food, I love the farmers' booths gloriously filled with the season's produce.

After the Harvest Fair, why not check out my farmers' market cooking event on September 14th at 21 Acres--a nonprofit organization and farm that came from the King County Farm Preservation Act. That's next week!  I'll share farmer stories as we make some of my favorite recipes in this class--Garlicky Greens, Rustic Flatbread (with inspired seasonal toppings)  a to-die-for rawTuscon kale, carrot and apple salad and an apple berry clafouti (from a recipe I got from farmer Jeanette Herman of Cliffside Orchard.)  Oh yeah, you probably know their apples and pears too! The clafouti seems to work best with less juicy fruits of fall.

I can't get enough of the fire roasted peppers from River Farm this year.  I've made the flatbread with many vegetables and fire roasted peppers and grilled eggplant are my favs. (Right now, anyway.)

I'm not the only cook who wishes she had one of these at home.  

My Assistant takes pizza making a little too seriously.  Cut the talk and get with the action.

Use anything from the garden that appeals to your pizza tastes.  Oh no, this patty pan squash got away from us. We got them as tiny plants from River Farm and we've gotten lots of squash from just one plant.  I figured this one might be tough and seedy, but I was wrong.  

This recipe came from my book but this year I've been using cooked cornmeal instead of amaranth.  It's a bit sweeter and adds this amazing texture and subtle flavor.

The sea salt off to the side came from my friend from France.  Once when she went home for a visit, she brought back this grey sea salt.  "It's from my mother's cupboard," she'd told me.  I don't use if very often, but whenever I add it to recipes, it feels like I'm adding a pinch of friendship.

The flour came from Bluebird Grain Farms and from Nash's Organic Produce. Nash has been growing and selling organic produce for 30 years now.  Check out the Anniversary Events coming September  18-23!  It's a great excuse to get over to the Olympic peninsula before the rainy weather starts up again. I don't think you'll see Edward Cullen there, but you could like him on Facebook. With all the Twilight fans in Forks, you can always daydream.

You can grill peppers yourself, if you want.  Does anybody have luck freezing these?  Or does the texture change.  Every year I say I'll try it and see, but the peppers go so fast, I've never actually done it.

I've been using a quick-rise yeast.  Does it go faster?  Wow--this stuff can make the pizza dough rise in about half an hour.  But you do have to watch the dough because it can over-rise quickly.  You know when you hit that point when a finger poke sinks the dough.  It collapses onto itself. At this point, it could turn into a brick, but this dough is so forgiving, I kneaded it again and set it back in the bowl to rise.  It rises even faster than the first first time and you can work with it in 15 to 20 minutes.  A great bread teacher I had long ago said, "Always eat your mistakes while they're hot."  It's good advice to remember with bread.

Making personal pizzas is fun for the whole family.  You can choose your toppings and pull it into interesting shapes.  I like the boomarang shape.  Tom topped his with cheese and I like mine with all vegetables.

Finn and Chloe are happy to take whatever is leftover.

He takes the "prewash" job seriously.

We'll miss these summer treats when they wave goodbye for the season.  Enjoy them while you can!


Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra & Finn,
Finn you must have really loved that dish, you licked the plate clean.

We visited the Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon and had so many wonderful vegetables. We really enjoyed it. Your recipe looks awesome and I have fresh squash from the garden that I can use.

Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Thanks for stopping by Miz Helen. Always love sharing!