Dandelion’s assertive flavor works as the perfect foil to this crispy, cheesy flatbread. Topped with fresh greens, it resembles a bountiful salad piled on bread, with a bonus layer of melted cheese between the two. I toss the greens in a strong dressing, with a heavier emphasis on the vinegar than a traditional vinaigrette and a touch of garlic for extra zip. You can bake some country-style ham, such as prosciutto, on the flatbread, under the cheese, or drape very thin slices over the top. Cooked cubes of crisp bacon could be tossed with the greens in lieu of the ham. Whatever direction you decide to go in, be sure to prepare the salad ingredients before you bake the flatbread, so you can toss everything together shortly after the flatbread comes out of the oven. In place of the dandelion greens, you could use baby spinach or arugula.
- Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes to proof the yeast, until it starts to bubble.
- With the dough hook attached, on low speed, stir in olive oil, then mix in the all-purpose, whole wheat flour, and salt until they’re incorporated. Turn the speed to medium-high and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, you can make the dough in a large bowl and mix and knead it by hand.) Cover the dough with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
- While the dough is rising, make the vinaigrette: In a large bowl, combine the vinaigrette ingredients and mix well.
- When you’re ready to bake the dough, be sure to have all the ingredients for the topping prepared and in a large bowl so you can toss them with the dressing when the flatbread comes out of the oven.
- About 20 minutes before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 500ºF with a pizza baking stone or steel in it. If you don’t have a baking stone or steel, put a sturdy baking sheet in the oven on the lower shelf to preheat it.
- Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Roll and stretch the dough into a circle about 16 inches round (or oval, or to whatever size will fit on your baking stone or sheet), as thin as you can make it. If you have a pizza peel, sprinkle the peel with cornmeal and transfer the dough to the peel.
- If using a pizza stone or steel, sprinkle the dough with the minced garlic, then top it with grated cheese. Slide the flatbread onto the hot stone or steel in the oven. (Use the rack level recommended by the manufacturer of your stone or steel.) If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or carefully but quickly transfer the dough with your hands to the bak¬ing sheet or stone, then top the dough with the garlic and cheese after you’ve transferred it. Bake the dough until it’s crisp on the bottom and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 minutes, but check before that time as pizza stones and steels vary.
- If using a baking sheet, remove the hot pan from the oven and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, being mindful that the pan is very hot. Top with the minced garlic and grated cheese. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, then turn on the broiler and place the flatbread dough on the upper rack and broil until the crust is browned and crisp around the rim.
- Remove the flatbread from the oven and slide it onto a wire rack. Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing and heap them on top of the dough. Cut into wedges to serve.
- As any American knows, leftover cold pizza (which this flatbread resembles) makes a great breakfast. For a next-day lunch, reheat the flatbread on a baking sheet in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes. The greens will flatten and become more integrated with the flatbread crust, but c’est comme ça . . .
Reprinted with permission from L’Appart by David Lebovitz, copyright © 2017. Published by Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.