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Verses from my Kitchen: Parmesan Flatbread with Dandelion & Green Onion Pesto, Sopressa Prosciutto, Parmesan & Golden Cherry Tomatoes

October 13, 2011

Parmesan Flatbread with Dandelion & Green Onion Pesto, Sopressa Prosciutto, Parmesan & Golden Cherry Tomatoes

I should have seen it coming. Although we had a brilliant summer, it got off to a slow start. Winter wouldn't go away gently and spring pushed itself into the early weeks of summer. Everything has been slow to pick up steam. And, after the first few weeks of autumn started off promising with the cold drifts of familiarity, I held out hope that the cycle stopped here. Now.

The last week or so has seen an about face. Those comfortable fall mornings and early evenings still remain but the middle of the day has witnessed a heat resurgence. I guess summer wasn't done after all. And although I have a real love for fall, I can also appreciate when something this wonderful appears. Happens. And these warmer temperatures left me with a lot to be thankful for.

This unseasonably warm weather came just in time for Thanksgiving, which turned out to be a blessing for more than the obvious reasons. We had three shoots over three days leading up back-to-back family dinners. Nothing's better than that warm breeze in October as you shoot outdoors. It also keeps the subjects happy.

Everything started out on Thursday night, led by a photo shoot for a pair of beautiful baby twins. We got to work right at 5pm and shot until darkness fell, which, unlike the temperature suggested, was early. Or exactly as it should be in mid-October.

Friday was an engagement shoot for the first couple that booked with us months ago. It was a beautiful Friday shoot overlooking the lake as the sun danced downwards towards the water. Just like the day before, we shot until the light disappeared into the night. But what a beautiful night it was. Made for memories.

And Saturday was all about a family. A family shoot. Full circle. We started early in the day and worked our way from one location to another. A great couple and two beautiful little boys who managed to stay focused for a couple of hours. Incredible, really. The perfect way to end the three shoots. The perfect reminder of what this weekend was really all about. Family. The love of family.

As soon as that last session ended, we could finally exhale. And breathe. We had two thanksgiving family dinners in a matter of days but we knew it would be time away from work and time spent connecting with each other and our families. One spent with her family and one spent with my extended family. Three days of food and family and fun.

After such a hectic lead up to the weekend and all that food that comes hand in hand with the holidays, we needed a break. We needed a couple of days of eating light and fresh. Away from the comfort of family. Away from the noise. We needed normalcy. And some lighter options for weekday dinners.

I wanted to make a fresh flatbread pizza without all the usual heavy ingredients and sauces you usually see with pizza. I adapted a beautiful flatbread recipe I saw at Roost Blog (which you should visit if you haven't already) and came up with this. A light and flavourful pesto, thinly sliced Italian meat, mozzarella & Parmesan and roasted golden cherry tomatoes. The perfect mid-week meal to follow all the heavy foods we enjoyed over the holidays.
It's been a few days since the holiday weekend ended. The weather outside is still warm but I know the end is near. I'm still looking forward to the comfort of autumn and the traditions it brings. But, for now, I'll enjoy the flavours of the season and the warmth pushing us outdoors. Keeping us outdoors. I should have seen it coming. But, this time, I'm glad I didn't.

From my kitchen to yours,


Parmesan Flatbread with Pesto, Sopressa Prosciutto, Mozza & Golden Cherry Tomatoes

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup boilin water
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 slices of sopressa prosciutto, torn into pieces
  • pesto (recipe below)
  • golden cherry tomatoes
  • fresh oregano, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt & pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until blistered. Remove and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, Parmesan, sage, water, olive oil, eggs, salt and baking soda. Mix well to form a soft dough. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Pat into a ball and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll until desired thickness and place on a baking sheet and into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove.
  5. Spread pesto over flatbread and top with sopressa prosciutto, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. Place back into the oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes, or until edges and nicely browned.
  6. Remove from oven and top with grated Parmesan chese and fresh oregano. Slice.
  7. Serves 2.

Dandelion & Green Onion Pesto

  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 3 cups dandelion leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup cashews (pine nuts are fine, if you prefer)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt & cracked pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, adding in olive oil as it runs. Pulse into the texture you like. I like it mostly smooth with some texture remaining from the nuts.


At October 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM , Anonymous Bev Weidner said...

Your photography...I just have no words. I LOVE the story you tell. Just. stunning.

At October 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM , Anonymous Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook said...

I'm from NJ (home to the 2nd finest pizza in the states, imo) and I approve of this post :)

At October 13, 2011 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks light, refreshing and hearty all at the same time. Photos are ravishing
I love the grater.

At October 13, 2011 at 6:56 PM , Anonymous SMITH BITES said...

sounds like a perfect holiday weekend Mike - doing work that you love, with the love of your life and family thrown in with good food . . . absolutely perfect . . .

At October 13, 2011 at 6:59 PM , Anonymous Sneh | Cook Republic said...

Beautiful Photos. Very fresh recipe!

At October 14, 2011 at 12:11 AM , Anonymous Liz W (EmmaEats) said...

I just read your post and it's like you read my mind - between the appreciation of family and the season. On top of that, the flatbread w pesto was what I was having a hankering for. Your beautiful photos have just sealed the deal -- we're having them this weekend. Thank you for sharing!

At October 14, 2011 at 12:26 AM , Anonymous Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

Your flat bread looks amazing, and wow those roasted yellow tomatoes are just so beautiful. Like little bits of sunshine!

At October 14, 2011 at 3:15 AM , Anonymous Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said...

So I guess the heat isn't just here in sunny CA, it seems that fall is being stubborn and taking it's sweet time this year. Sounds like a wonderful week filled with great work and family time.

At October 14, 2011 at 11:30 AM , Blogger Sippity Sup said...

Warm weather all around. Good call to toast the toms too... Are you going to the FBZ Fest? I'd love to meet. GREG

At October 14, 2011 at 11:34 AM , Anonymous Nancy G. said...

Those tomatoes look amazing. Your photographs are stunning and the post beautifully written as always.

At October 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM , Anonymous foodie @ Tasting Spot said...

amazing pictures... love your photography... very inspiring for noobies like me :)

At October 14, 2011 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) said...

Can't stop looking at these images--every single one. All so beautiful! :)

At October 15, 2011 at 1:21 PM , Blogger Eliotseats said...

Again, your photos, prose, and recipes are outstanding.

At October 16, 2011 at 8:31 AM , Blogger Brian Samuels Photography said...

Oh how i would love to devour this for breakfast this morning. Gorgeous, my friend!

At October 18, 2011 at 4:41 PM , Anonymous Heidi @foodiecrush said...

Lovely combination of favors that somehow still feel light with fall creeping away from us.

At October 28, 2011 at 11:39 AM , Anonymous Kasey said...

Stunning looking flatbread. So glad to have stumbled on your site!


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