Apparently, summer official starts next week–June 21st to be exact. Oh really? So you’re telling me that 90 degree day last week wasn’t summer? Ha. Anyway, summer to me is all about the food (duh)…and I can’t get enough of things like watermelon, corn, peaches, and tomatoes. Good summer food has to be fresh, colorful, and light, which is exactly what I was going for with this flatbread. So what if I’m cheating and making it a week early…I’m in a summer in New York state of mind.
What makes this flatbread unique is the spread. It’s made of roasted eggplant and roasted garlic. I simply sliced the eggplant and spread on a baking sheet with two halved garlic cloves and roasted away. Took it for a spin in the food processor (along with some chickpeas for protein) and you’re good to go.
I used some of the raw whole wheat pizza dough from my favorite NY pizzaria, but you could really make this on anything, including precooked flatbread or pita (obviously adjusting the cooking time accordingly. After spreading on the garlicy eggplant, I topped with thinly sliced orange pepper, red onion, grape tomato, asparagus, corn, and some goat cheese.
To serve, I added a few sprouts on top to give it even more freshness and texture. Plus, I drizzled with oil and vinegar just for kicks. This is a ridiculously tasty flat bread…who am I kidding, it’s a pizza in disguise. Whatever it is, you should make it this summer, or some variation, and seriously impress your bbq guests.
Nutritional highlights: Color, color, color. I say it a lot, but the best way to tell if you’re getting good variety in your diet is to assess the color palette you eat. And the more variety, the more likely you’ll be getting all the amazing health benefits and vitamins that different foods have to offer. This flatbread for example, has corn (gives you a few very important B vitamins + fiber), asparagus (vitamin K and folate + an interesting surprise when you go to the bathroom), bell pepper (Vitamin C and A + antioxidant effects), etc etc etc. I could go on for days. As long as you take it easy on the cheese and do a very thin whole grain base for your flatbread, then this is an incredibly healthy meal or appetizer.
Summer Vegetable Flatbread with Eggplant Spread and Goat Cheese
adapted from…my mind
For the Spread:
- 1 eggplant
- 1/2 can chickpeas (optional…I had them in my fridge so I needed to use them up but just eggplant spread would be just as yummy and a bit smoother)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- salt and pepper to taste
For the flatbread:
- Fresh vegetables! I used: red onion, orange pepper, asparagus, grape tomatoes, and frozen roasted corn (trader joe’s sells a pre roasted frozen corn…so fun)
- Sprouts or greens for garnish
- Olive oil and vinegar
- Whole wheat pizza dough or pre-made flatbread or pita
- Goat cheese (recipe can also be easily made vegan by leaving out the cheese)
Slice the eggplant in 1 inch thick rounds and then halve. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray and spread eggplant pieces evenly. Peel two large garlic cloves and cut in half and disperse on the sheet. Roast at 425 for 20 minutes, then turn pieces, and then another 20 minutes (so 40 minutes total). Eggplant should be browned and soft. Put roasted eggplant into food processor and pulse. If using chickpeas, add and pulse. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water to thin out the mixture. Season with salt and pepper (and maybe some red pepper flakes if you’re crazy like me).
If using raw pizza dough, preaheat oven to 425 with pizza stone in the oven. Roll out your dough on the counter and then transfer to hot stone. Top with eggplant spread and all your cut veggies. Crumble goat cheese on top and bake for 15-20 minutes. If using an already cooked crust or flatbread, reduce cooking time to about 10 minutes.
When the flatbread is done, you can top with some fresh greens (sprouts or arugula would be great) and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and vinegar to make it especially fancy. Enjoy!!!
HAPPY START OF SUMMER!