When I think of Californian cuisine, the words fresh, clean and healthy immediately come to mind. I love goat cheese, Roma tomatoes and basil. The vibrant colors are beautiful and I think these ingredients exude California. I recently was out with a girl friend for happy hour at Claim Jumper. We ordered the Tomato Flat Bread as part of our meal. It was a simple piece of lavash bread, covered with lots of cheese and tomatoes. An arugula salad with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette topped the whole appetizer. I thought to myself…I can make this at home for a fraction of the price….so I did!
This Californian style flat bread pizza is full of fresh flavors, healthy and is so quick to assemble and bake. I made this dish for my siblings for lunch one day and they loved it. I was actually surprised because as you may know my sister is not a big fan of tomatoes. I like how the goat cheese just softens, but doesn’t become rubbery or hard as other cheeses tend to when baked. The fresh basil is such a great compliment to the tomatoes. I even made it for dinner for my husband and he was skeptical since it didn’t have any meat on it. He was wrong, he thoroughly enjoyed his vegetarian flat bread pizza. This is a no fuss recipe, so there are no exact measurements. Use what you have on hand for the toppings and be creative.
A great way to “chiffonade” your basil (or any leafy herb for that matter) is to place the leaves on top of each other and roll the leaves into a tight cylinder. Then use kitchen shears to cut the basil into thin strips. I bought my lavash bread at Trader Joe’s and the bread was already cut into rectangular pieces. Once baked, I cut the pizza into 8 rectangles and it easily feed 2 people…or 1 hungry person. You can also find lavash at Persian markets. The ones you find there will most likely not be cut into neat rectangular pieces. You can leave as is or cut it down to size if you wish. It’s your flat bread pizza…you can do whatever you want.
Californian Flat Bread Pizza
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Place lavash bread on an aluminum baking sheet.
- Pour a small amount of olive oil in a small dish, using a pasty brush, brush a thin layer of olive oil onto the whole surface of the lavash bread. Make sure you get the corners.
- Dot small amounts of goat cheese on the lavash bread. Use as much or little as you wish.
- Slice one end of the Roma tomato. Using your knife or a small spoon, gently remove as much of the seeds and juice as possible. I find the extra juice and seeds make for a tangier pizza and makes the crust soggy – so I get rid of it.
- Slice the Roma tomatoes into thin rounds and place on top of the lavash.
- Season the pizza with salt and pepper.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10-12 mins.
- Remove and add basil. Slice with a pizza cutter while still warm. If you wait too long the lavash will harden and the bread will crack as you cut it.
I also made another Californian style flat bread pizza topped with shredded Havarti cheese, roasted chicken, diced Roma tomatoes, avocados and basil. You can pretty much throw avocados onto anything and call it Californian! Anyhow, I thought this was going to be the kids’ (my siblings) favorite – but they actually preferred the goat cheese, tomatoes and basil flat bread. My how their palates have changed! There’s just something about simple fresh ingredients that is so satisfying. The clean flavors are straight forward and there’s something to be said about keeping things simple. Recipes and dishes don’t have to be labor intensive or complicated to be delicious.