Caprese Flatbread Recipe

by Dawn Mischele
0 comment

This Caprese Flatbread might yield 8 pieces, but in our minds, it serves 2 people maximum! Perfectly balancing oily but not greasy, cheesy but not heavy, and just the right amount of saltiness, it embodies the best parts of a Caprese salad and a Margarita pizza.

Caprese Flatbread

I’ve been wanting to make my own pizza for weeks now. There’s something that’s really fun and freeing about being able to make your food exactly how you want it: roll it out to your favorite thickness, put whatever kind of sauce you’ve been craving, and load it up with your favorite toppings. I’ve been trying to eat healthier, so I put off making my own pizza. Which, of course, means I’ve been non-stop thinking about what kind of pizza I wanted for two weeks straight. What kind of toppings do I want? Should I go crazy? Classic? 

Then I remembered the best grilled-cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. A little shop at my farmer’s market specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches (what an amazing profession), and let me tell you, they do amazing work. It was two thick pieces of sourdough bread with a thick layer of pesto, three kinds of cheese, juicy tomatoes, all drizzled with a balsamic glaze. Wow, just thinking about it makes me smile! Thinking about that, paired with my desire to make and eat pizza, paired with the fact that tomato season is coming to a close, all gave me the idea to make a Caprese Flatbread. Fun fact: this flatbread is almost vegan! I couldn’t bring myself to give up that fresh mozzarella that’s so indicative of a Caprese. However, if you have a vegan substitute for high-moisture mozzarella, please use it!

Caprese Flatbread Ingredients

Pizza dough: I love making my own pizza, but not my own pizza dough. I just buy the premade stuff from Trader Joes. For this recipe, I’m using the vegan garlic herb style, but if you’re feeling up to making your own, I encourage you!

Pesto: I love pesto, and I love homemade pesto, and I also love Trader Joe’s vegan kale and cashew pesto. I’m using four tablespoons of store-bought pesto, but again, homemade is always better!

Tomatoes: I’m using just one large beefsteak tomato, but I recommend heirloom tomatoes. Somehow they’re always more juicy and flavorful. Especially if it’s peak tomato season in your region! 

Fresh, Marinated Mozzarella: I love the marinated mozzarella because it ensures that the cheese retains its moisture while also imbuing it with flavor. Plus, we’ll be using the marinade to brush on the crust and get that beautiful golden color.

Fresh Basil: Basil is by far my favorite herb, and it’s imperative to the Caprese. 

Balsamic Glaze: What better to pair with a Caprese than balsamic

Flakey Sea Salt (Optional): I love to crumble some big flakes of sea salt on top of my piece to give it that extra salty crunch. However, pesto is already pretty salty for some, so this ingredient is optional. (Technically, all ingredients are optional; remember: the best part of making your own food is you can make it however you want to!)

How to Make Caprese Flatbread

  • Follow the instructions on your pizza dough package. Mine said to gently turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Stretch (or use a rolling pin to work) your dough into the desired shape. If your dough is being stubborn about staying in the shape without springing back, stretch the dough, then let it rest before stretching again. 
  • Lightly oil your baking sheet to prevent sticking. I used olive oil to keep with the flavor profile, but any neutral oil will work instead.
  • Once the dough is almost the right shape, transfer it to the pan you’ll be baking it on. Be sure to consult your dough packaging to get baking instructions. 
  • Evenly spread four tablespoons of pesto on the dough. This will be your base sauce.
  • Slice your tomato and arrange it on the dough in whatever way you desire.
  • Add the balls of mozzarella, again wherever you’d like. I used a spoon to scoop them out with a bit of their marinade. I used around 10 of the little balls, however, the goal is just to space them out so every piece has some cheese on it, without it just becoming a cheese pizza. 
  • Using a pastry brush, apply some of the cheese’s marinade to the crust of the flatbread. 
  • Bake at the temperature and time as designated by your pizza dough packaging. Mine instructed 475 degrees Fahrenheit (245 Celcius) for 8-10 minutes. I like my crust extra golden, so I probably could’ve left it in for 12 minutes. Next time!
  • Top with fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Optionally, you can add flaky sea salt to your piece! Try your best to wait for it to cool down before you dig in, and enjoy!

Notes:

  • If you like a fuller pizza, try adding some arugula! I’ll be trying that next time I make it; I think it’ll be amazing! 
  • If you couldn’t find marinated mozzarella, that’s okay. A high-moisture mozzarella is definitely preferred for this recipe, but you can replace using the marinade on the crust with just some olive oil and whatever spices you’d prefer. 
  • Not tomato season where you are? You may want to think twice about the brand of tomatoes you’re buying. Pick up a copy of Barry Estabrook’s Tomatoland to learn more about the working conditions of the people who put food on your plate. An informed populous is an empathetic, and effective one!
Yield: 8 Slices

Caprese Flatbread

Caprese Flatbread

This Caprese Flatbread might yield 8 pieces, but in our minds, it serves 2 people maximum! Perfectly balancing oily but not greasy, cheesy but not heavy, and just the right amount of saltiness, it embodies the best parts of a Caprese salad and a Margherita pizza.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • Pizza Dough
  • 4 Tbsp Pesto
  • 1 Beefsteak Tomato
  • Fresh, Marinated Mozzarella
  • Fresh Basil (for topping)
  • Balsamic Glaze (for topping)
  • Flaky Sea Salt (for topping)

Instructions

  1. Follow the instructions on your pizza dough package. Mine said to gently turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Stretch (or use a rolling pin to work) your dough into the desired shape. I made mind into a big rectangle to fit with the flatbread theme. For me, this took a time or two to get it into the right shape. If your dough is being stubborn about staying in the shape without springing back, stretch the dough, then let it rest before stretching again. 
  3. Lightly oil your baking sheet to prevent sticking. I used olive oil to keep with the flavor profile, but any neutral oil will work instead.
  4. Once the dough is almost the right shape, transfer it to the pan you’ll be baking it on. Be sure to consult the dough instructions for the proper type of pan, the temperature to preheat your oven, and for long you should bake it. Mine said to preheat to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (245 Celcius) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Evenly spread four tablespoons of pesto on the dough. This will be your base sauce.
  6. Slice your tomato and arrange it on the dough in whatever way you desire.
  7. Add the balls of mozzarella, again wherever you’d like. I used a spoon to scoop them out with a bit of their marinade. This creates a lovely little pool of marinade and cheese. I think I used around 10 of the little balls, however, the goal is just to space them out so every piece has some cheese on it, without it just becoming a cheese pizza. 
  8. Using a pastry brush, apply some of the cheese’s marinade to the crust of the flatbread. 
  9. Bake at the temperature and time as designated by your pizza dough packaging. Again mine was 475 (245) degrees for 8-10 minutes. I like my crust extra golden, so I probably could’ve left it in for 12 minutes. Next time!
  10. Top with fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Optionally, you can add flaky sea salt to your piece! Try your best to wait for it to cool down before you dig in, and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you like a fuller pizza, try adding some arugula! I’ll be trying that next time I make it; I think it’ll be amazing! 
  • If you couldn’t find marinated mozzarella, that’s okay. A high-moisture mozzarella is definitely preferred for this recipe, but you can replace using the marinade on the crust with just some olive oil and whatever spices you’d prefer. 
  • Not tomato season where you are? You may want to think twice about the brand of tomatoes you’re buying. Pick up a copy of Barry Estabrook’s Tomatoland to learn more about the working conditions of the people who put food on your plate. An informed populous is an empathetic, and effective one!

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