11 August 2011

Crisp Flatbread with Goat Cheese and Peaches

Last summer, while I was studying abroad, I missed the entirety of NC peach season.  No biggie, you say, they're just peaches.  But what you don't understand is that peaches are my favorite food.  Hands down.  There isn't anything I would rather eat (except maybe chocolate... then I would just put some chopped chocolate on my peaches!).  So this summer I've been making up for last year's lost peach time, and I added peaches to my CSA order.  So I get 12-18 peaches every week.  Yummy!

But what I don't know is why I've been obsessed with the combination of peaches and goat cheese this summer.  I feel like any time I want a quick lunch, I smear some crackers with goat cheese and slice a peach.  Maybe its because I have an abundance of peaches this summer...  Whatever the reason, I keep trying to find different ways to combine these flavors.  

Below is the result of my latest experiment.  My latest favorite lunch, really, seeing how I've made this about 4 times in the last couple of weeks.  And with good reason.  This is quick and easy to make, and requires just a handfull of ingredients, all of which I keep in my pantry.  And the base works with a infinite number of topping combinations.  While I stuck pretty close to the original recipe, you could go any direction you wanted with this.  I think mascarpone, procuitto, and figs would be particularly delicious, especially as part of a cheese course or a light dinner with a glass of wine.

The original recipe calls for Mahon cheese, or any other nutty melting cheese, like manchego, parmesan, romano, anything along those lines.  I used goat cheese because I didn't have any of the cheeses suggested in the recipe, but I was really in the mood for flat bread.  Then I added the peaches for good measure.  And it gives me a different way to eat peaches, which is always good.  But after I made it this way, I wouldn't think of doing it another way, at least not any time soon.

This is a great lunch, a light dinner with a salad, a cheese course, smittenkitchen even suggests that this would act as a dessert for folks who would eat a cheese plate instead of dessert.  I think this would be a great starter for a summer meal.

Crisp Flatbread with Goat Cheese and Peaches
adapted from smittenkitchen
makes 8 flatbreads
3/4 c + 2 T flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 T + 2 t olive oil
1/4 c water
2 oz crumbled goat cheese (or 1/3 c any of the other cheeses)
2 T honey (or more, if you like)
4 sprigs thyme
a pinch of sea salt
1 peach, cut into thin wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 450.  Place a baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven to heat up.

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Make a well in the center.  Add the olive oil and water.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture forms a dough.  Split the dough in half.

Roll one dough ball on a piece of parchment paper into a very thin rectangular shape.  Leaving the dough on the parchment paper, slide onto on the pre-heated tray or stone and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, top with 1 oz (or 2-3 T) of cheese.  Put back in the oven and bake until golden brown, 3-4 minutes.  If you are using a creamy cheese (creamy goat cheese, mascarpone, cream cheese, etc), let the flatbread bake completely before adding the cheese, or add just in the last minute of baking.  Transfer baked flatbread to a cutting board, and roll out and bake the second piece of dough on a new sheet of parchment paper.

To finish the flatbreads, drizzle each with 1 T honey, the leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme, and a pinch of sea salt.  Cut each into 4 pieces, then top with peach wedges (if using).

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