I can make you a list of my least favorite foods: cilantro, ginger, licorice, onions, scallions, tomatoes… (And I could list it alphabetically too!) But I can also tell you that only 1/3rd of that list remains unchanged. Cilantro? Really fantastic in sauces. Ginger – I like that it adds a bit of flavor, although I still refuse to eat it. Onions – especially caramelized… is there anything sweeter? Scallions – I love scallion pancakes. And tomatoes… the most recent food I’ve learned to agree to live with. (I’m even able to pinpoint for you the moment I crossed the line from hate to love – Tomato-Basil Spaghetti at Scarpetta. Thank the master of the tomato, Scott Conant.) Now, most days, you will find my fridge stocked with at least one fresh tomato, perfect for some last minute pasta, or in this case, a very fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil flatbread.

I am no wizard with yeast doughs. In fact, the first pizza I ever made with wheat flour turned out to be a hard disc wheat cracker. The 2nd time, the dough was so bland, I took one bite, tossed the rest, and accepted a last minute dinner date with someone I met online. (And we all know how “being too available” translates to desperation, as if online dating weren’t desperate enough, but really, it was my stomach… desperate for something that didn’t taste like cardboard.) So this time, I tried a different recipe, from a recent post on Not Eating Out in New York. I cut her dough recipe in half, and only prepared half of that as a side to my leftover quinoa salad.

Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Flatbread

  • dough (from recipe)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • mozzarella, sliced similar in thickness to tomatoes
  • basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper

Prepare the dough according to the recipe. My impatience led me to only let the dough rise for about 20 minutes, which made it difficult to stretch and shape, and I also didn’t let it sit after shaping, because I got hungry. The rest is easy: arrange the tomato slices on the dough, top with mozzarella, and basil leaves, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes.

This will probably be my new default dough recipe, because although at first I was alarmed by how much salt was added to the flour, in the end, it turned out to be flavored perfectly. I’ll save the other half I have, risen properly and stowed away in the fridge, for a later attempt!