Zucchini Flatbread with Roasted Tomato and Pine Nuts for the Minneapolis Bread Festival

Sometimes you just don’t know when to leave well enough alone.  This savory flatbread was in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2009), and I was making it tonight as a side dish for a simple baked Coho Salmon with dill.  I’m back on a pizza and flatbread kick again, since our new pizza and flatbread book is coming out in 28 days:

I wanted something to brighten up the flavor and color of all those soft lovely green things—roasted cherry tomatoes did the trick.  The tangy acidity was perfect for cutting the softer flavors of the zucchini, parsley, cheese, and nuts.  The tomatoes weren’t in the original recipe, and neither version has ever appeared on our website before, so here goes.  Plus, I’m going to be doing a demo this Saturday, October 1 at 10:15 am at the Minneapolis Bread Festival, and they’re asking for something like this.  Hope to see you at the festival, but if you can’t make it, give this a try here.  Our pizza book is available for pre-order on Amazon and will ship October 25.One of the hardest things about writing a cookbook is that you have to create food you like, and then freeze it in time.  Once the book is published, it’s exceedingly hard to convince the publisher to make changes and revisions because you are tired of making it the same way year after year.  And yet…  I look at this recipe two years later and think, “that would be nice with something sharp-tasting.”  So that’s what this website is for:

1/2 pound (orange-sized portion) of any of our un-enriched pre-mixed doughs, like plain white, or whole grain, or gluten-free

1/4 cup olive oil

2 scallions, sliced thinly into rounds

1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

2 small or 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or decrease to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 to 4 tablespoons whole raw pine nuts

1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Extra flour for dusting the pizza peel

Broil the cherry tomatoes for 5 to 10 minutes, until just beginning to blacken in places and set aside.  Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450F, with a baking stone (ceramic or glazed, or cast iron all work well) placed in the bottom third of the oven.

Grate the zucchini on a box grater…

A coarser grater would work just as well, but my box grater produces a pretty fine result:

Cut the scallions into rings:

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet, and add the prepared vegetables.

Saute until wilted and the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 10 minutes.  It’ll look about like this:

Cool slightly and stir in the grated cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dust the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a half-pound (orange-sized) piece.  Dust with more flour and quickly shape a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter-turn as you go.

Using plenty of flour, flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin…

… to produce a 1/8-inch thick round (this will produce a 12-inch round flatbread).  Transfer to a pizza peel if you didn’t roll out on one in the first place.  Working quickly, scatter the surface of the dough with about a 1/4-inch thick layer of the sauteed vegetables.  Depending on the size of the dough round, you may have more than you need.  Sprinkle with raw pine nuts:

Slide onto the stone and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning pizza in the oven if it’s browning unevenly.  Remove from the oven when crust is nicely browned but before the nuts start to burn.  You can see why I don’t toast the pine nuts before using; they caramelize (brown) in the oven heat and if you jump-started that process they’d burn before the crust was done:

Immediately scatter the tomatoes over the flatbread, some cut-side up, and some cut-side down.  Use a pizza wheel or a chef’s knife to cut the pie into squares.  You can see what the tomatoes do for visual appeal, but their lively acidity also really changes the flavor.  In Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, we use halved tomatoes in a similar way, but without pre-roasting– in this recipe, I was concerned that all the oil, plus tomato juices might make for a soggy crust.  Pre-roasting drives off much of the water in the tomato:

Perfect appetizer with a crisp dry white wine!

See you on Twitter or on Facebook, or at the Minneapolis Bread Festival this Saturday, October 1, at 10:15 am at the presentation kitchen in the Mill City Farmer’s Market.

26 thoughts to “Zucchini Flatbread with Roasted Tomato and Pine Nuts for the Minneapolis Bread Festival”

  1. This is my absolute favorite recipe from the book! I LOVE it and make it often, usually on the grill. I use toasted walnuts instead of pine nuts because that’s what I usually have on hand, and sometimes top with a very light sprinkling of mozzarella. Now that I see your photos, I realize I am using waaaay more zucchini than you do! (I cover the entire pizza w/ zucchini – can’t see any crust through it.)

    1. Lori: So glad you like the recipe– I wouldn’t say that you need to use less than you’re doing. In this case, I made a bigger dough round than I had toppings for, which gives a different flatbread style– more bread, less topping.

      But really it’s just a matter of taste. For the picture in the book, it was more heavily topped. Jeff

  2. This looks amazing, can’t wait to try it.

    Have you tried using Grana Padano instead of Parmesan? I don’t bother buying parmesan anymore, Grana Padano is perfection!

  3. Hi folks,
    Am hoping this is the right place to get a question answered….I have “mastered” the master recipe and several others from the first book. I got the second book and right out of the gate, shot for the 10 grain bread. It rose beautifully on the counter. I put it in the fridge, and didn’t get back to it for 2 days. When I attempted to grab a hunk to form, it was thick, wet and could not be stretched to form the ball. It flattened for the 2nd rise, and made a pancake when I slipped it into the oven. Is there any way to rescue the other 3 loaves worth still in the fridge? HELP!

    1. Hi Molly,

      It sounds like your dough didn’t develop enough gluten structure, which is what gives it the nice stretch. This can either happen from being too dry or from using a combination of grains that just doesn’t have the gluten to begin with. I am guessing that it is the latter and you may just need to add a bit more vital wheat gluten to the mix. In order to do this you will have to mix the VWG with some AP flour and then stir it into the dough. This will certainly dry out the dough a bit, so you may have to also add more water. The goal is to get the gluten in there to provide better structure.

      Maybe start by adding 1/2 cup AP + 2 tablespoons VWG to the dough. Then you will need to add up to 1/4 cup more water, but do that slowly, or you may end up with a dough that is too wet. This is all done very easily in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. After it is all mixed together, let it sit so the new flour can be absorbed in the dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. I would like to send this recipe to a friend who is not on fb. I do not see this option. The recipe sounds like one I would try myself.

  5. Not about this recipe …

    I have a question about the container … I have my eye on a great (shape & dimension) stainless steel container. Would stainless steel be suitable?

    Thanks for your help with this!

  6. I just looked up this book on Amazon–thinking of buying it for my DD, but want to see a recipe list. Their Look Inside feature would be great. Wish you would do that!

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      The entire index is on the Amazon Look Inside feature. There isn’t really a list of all the recipes, that is more complete than the index. It is also available at all major retailers and even the library, if you want to take a look at a copy.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Suzanne: Did you mean the pizza book? “Look Inside” isn’t activated yet, but I believe it will be once the book’s officially released on October 25. Jeff

  7. Hi Zoë, what a great coincidence because I just finished eating my first slice of the HBi5 version and came here to rave about it. It’s marvelous! Thank you for the procedure cooking pictures, because what I did was different. I’ll be sure to try this version the next time courgettes go on sale (sorry, no garden).

  8. Katharine: Seems to work well with store-bought, have to admit my garden doesn’t have enough sun to have produced the ones in these pictures. Jeff

  9. A question arising from my ARC of your newest book Artisan Pizza and Flatabread in Five Minutes a Day: When you refer to “lean dough”, which doughs do you mean?

    1. Hi Marie,

      Any of the doughs that have no eggs or dairy are considered “lean.” This will be made clear in the final printing, by giving a range of pages you can bake from.

      Thanks and enjoy the pizzas and flatbreads! Zoë

  10. Thanks for posting this. Although I have read the recipe in the book, I was inspired to make it having seen the pictures.
    Love the addition of tomatoes. Was fantastic!
    A new favorite, I will be making again and again!

    Cannot wait for the new book.

  11. Enjoyed watching your demo this morning a the Minneapolis Bread Festival and enjoyed tasting the pizza even more! Will have to put your new book on my wish list! It was great meeting you too! Thanks for all you do for us Stay-at-home mom’s that want to serve our families great food!

  12. Hi Jeff and Zoe,
    With your new book out soon, I thought you might be interested in knowing that I just finished baking my way through HB in 5 with the group Michelle started almost 2 years ago. Pretty good timing on all our parts! I would love it if you both would post a comment on my blog, kind of like a virtual signing of my (well-worn) copy of HB in 5 for me. I do have your latest book on pre-order, but am also looking forward to getting back to some of my AB in 5 favorites.
    I really enjoy baking your way.

  13. I made this three times this week – yum! The tomatoes add the perfect touch of acid. Thanks for the modified recipe. I’m really looking forward to the new book.

  14. I am wanting to make a potato bread from the Artisan book, but I want to use potato flour instead of a potato. Any suggestions? Thanks!


    1. Hi Donna,

      This is interesting, I have never made that substitution. The potato flour absorbs quite a bit of water, so you may just want to add a small amount and see how the dough looks. Maybe a 1/4 cup per large potato. This is going to take some experimenting, so you may want to start with a small batch.

      Thanks and let us know how it goes, Zoë

  15. I notice that in HBin5 the whole wheat recipes contain added gluten, but in Pizzain5 they do not. What difference do you find between the pizzas and flatbreads using the gluten vs. no added gluten recipes?

    1. Hi Margie,

      We added vital wheat gluten to the recipes in HBin5, because they need to make a tall loaf. They’d be too dense without the extra gluten strength. For pizzas it is not necessary, because the dough is flat and therefore will not be as dense.

      Thanks, Zoë

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