From Charlie Palmer's American Fare

Serves 8

Flatbreads are less than pizza and more than a cracker, particularly when coated with interesting toppings. They are terrific to serve with cocktails or chilled wine on a summer afternoon or around the fire in the winter. I like to serve them straight from my wood-fired oven. I quickly use a Microplane to grate the Parmesan over the salad-topped hot flatbread and then place it on a cutting board with a big knife so that everyone can cut their own randomly shaped piece.

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon RapidRise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ cups water
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Semolina or Wondra flour for rolling out the dough
  • Basil Pesto (see Note at Mint Pesto, page 00)
  • 1½ cups shredded scamorza (dry mozzarella)
  • ¾ cup chopped pine nuts
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Lightly coat the interior of a large bowl with olive oil. Set aside.

Combine the flour with the yeast in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir in the salt. Add the water along with the olive oil and beat on low for about 5 minutes or until a smooth dough forms. Transfer to the oiled bowl, loosely cover, and set aside in a warm spot for 20 minutes or until the dough is just slightly risen.

Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Lightly coat a clean flat work surface with semolina or Wondra flour.

Transfer the dough to the floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a large thin, round. It doesn’t have to be even; you want a rustic look.

Using a pastry brush, generously coat the top of the dough with pesto. Sprinkle with scamorza and pine nuts. Using a pizza peel, transfer the flatbread to the stone in the preheated oven. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the topping is bubbling and the crust is crisp and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and randomly top with tomato wedges and romaine. Drizzle olive oil over all and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.