Having a blog means your personal life is very much on display, something that most certainly can take some getting used to. That said, one of the wonderful trade-offs of your life being public is the many incredible connections you make world-wide. I have connected with and met more amazing people than I ever thought possible, all through the power of the internet. Through words and food, two simple things we all find comfort and nourishment in, I myself have met some of the most inspiring and beautiful people. All through blogging. Both as a blog reader and a blogger myself, these relationships with people, some of whom I have never even met, have come to mean as much to me as the friends I have had in my life for many years. Danielle is one of these incredible people I have had the pleasure of meeting through blogging, so I wanted do whatever I could to support her and her family in this difficult time. To give back to and help them any way I possibly can – the way she has done for so many people through the years.
Since I cannot walk through the front door of Danielle’s house and make some yummy food to comfort her and her family right now, the next best thing I can do is share a recipe with all of you here. We find comfort in food, we come together over beautiful meals prepared in love, we mourn and we celebrate with food.
This Grain-free Flatbread with Balsamic Basil Pesto, Peaches, Goat Cheese and Arugula, celebrates just some of what is in season right now here in Southern California. The peaches came from my very own tree, the arugula from my garden, the goat cheese from a local farmer. If I could, I would make one of these flatbreads for anyone who needed one, to add a little nourishment and a little sunshine to their day.
Beth Manos Brickey, a designer and yoga teacher, is also the recipe developer and photographer behind the gluten-free website Tasty Yummies. Beth’s real food recipes focus on fresh, whole and seasonal foods. She encourages readers to eat intuitively and listen to their own bodies, giving them the tools needed in the kitchen to feel empowered, to get creative and play with their food. Visit Beth on Facebook & Twitter.
Guest Post: Grain-free Flatbread with Balsamic Basil Pesto, Peaches, Goat Cheese and Arugula
Beth Manos Brickey - Tasty Yummies
Grain-free Flatbread Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (potato or arrowroot work too)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large farm fresh egg*
- 2 tablespoons oil (grape seed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, melted butter, etc)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Basil Balsamic Pesto:
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds (or other nut of your choice)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 peaches or nectarines, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbled, optional
- 2 handfuls arugula
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
* To make vegan: use a “chia egg” – 1 tablespoon ground chia and 3 tablespoons boiling water, mix into a slurry and let rest a few minutes until the consistency is like a beaten egg.
Grain-free Flatbread Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your standup mixer, combine the almond flour, starch, salt, baking soda, and garlic powder. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and the egg (or chia egg). Add the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture, mixing until it is well combined.
- If the dough seems a bit tacky and sticky, that’s ok. Work the dough a little longer and let it rest for a few minutes. Roll the dough into a large ball (you can also make two smaller flatbreads, if you wish). You can place the dough in the fridge until you are ready for it or roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to your desired thickness, around 1/8-inch thick.
- Place the rolled out dough between the two pieces of parchment paper onto your baking sheet. Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper. Patch any tears or breaks with your fingers. Drizzle a little more oil of your choice over the flatbread and spread it out evenly.
- Place the flatbread into the oven and pre-bake at 350º for 10 minutes or until it is just barely golden brown around the edges. Take the flatbread crust out of the oven after pre-baking and set aside while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
Basil Balsamic Pesto:
- Add the basil, garlic and almonds to your high speed blender and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and process until incorporated and somewhat smooth.
- Season with salt and black pepper, adding in a little red pepper flakes, if you’d like, too.
- Raise the temperature of the oven to 400ºF.
- Top the pre-baked flatbread with the basil balsamic pesto, spread evenly across the surface, the sliced peaches and goat cheese. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned, to your liking. I like to place it under the broiler for a minute or two after it comes out of the oven, just to get a nice brown to the top.
- Sprinkle the fresh arugula overtop the flatbread and drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top as well, if you’d like. If you aren’t serving right away, hold off on adding the toppings since the olive oil and balsamic can make the crust soggy as it sits.
NOTES: feel free to swap the goat cheese for any cheese you can tolerate or simply leave it off. I have made this flatbread without the cheese and it’s just as good. Any stone fruit would be delicious on this flatfbread, so feel free to use whatever is most in season near you right now.