I read a quote yesterday that said August was like the Sunday of summer.
I’d never thought of it but it totally sums up how I feel about this month – its arrival always reminds me that summer will eventually (soon-ish) come to an end, and yet there are still so many things that can be accomplished. A reminder that nothing lasts forever and that it’s time to soak in as much as we can. Time to live fully and to start checking things off that summer bucket list.
Speaking of summer bucket list, I’d highly recommend adding “making these flatbreads” to yours. I was so pleased with how this recipe turned out and hope you’ll like it as much as I did.
You might have guessed it – there’s no cheese involved here. This “ricotta” is made with macadamia nuts blended with lemon, a bit of garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. The sweet flavour of macadamia plays so well against the tanginess/saltiness/cheesiness of those add-ins. Together they turn into a perfectly balanced, rich, heavenly little spread. Now I have to warn you: it doesn’t taste like actual ricotta (I think it tastes even better), but the texture is remarkably similar.
As for this flatbread, it’s nothing less than a revelation. I adapted a recipe from Jamie Oliver that uses three little ingredients: flour, yogurt and baking powder. That’s it. No yeast, and no resting time needed. The original recipe instructions call for rolling out the dough with a rolling pin, but I simply roughly shaped the flatbreads with my hands, for an even simpler version. It’s pretty much as easy as it can get.
The zucchini + chive combo is the perfect addition here, but I’m sure other veggies or toppings would be just as good (asparagus? tomatoes? eggplants? arugula? olives? pesto?). Have fun 🙂
Notes: I tested this flatbread recipe with a gluten-free flour blend (Bob’s Red Mill) and the texture wasn’t quite to my liking. I much preferred the gluten version, so this is what is listed below. I used Grain’s Organic Red Spring Wheat Flour (a fabulous, more nutritious substitute to all-purpose) and it turned out wonderful. However, the original recipe calls for all-purpose, so feel free to use that if you prefer. Otherwise I’m sure light spelt flour would work well too. Let me know if you try it! – Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver.
- 1¾ cups / 250 g. sifted red spring wheat flour (or all-purpose or light spelt - see notes above)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened yogurt (use plant-based for vegan option)
- 1½ cups macadamia nuts, soaked and rinsed
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about ½ large lemon)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 small garlic clove
- ½ tsp sea salt
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 6-8 tbsp water (or as needed)
- Oil, for cooking
- 2 small zucchinis (yellow and/or green), thinly sliced with a mandoline
- 1-2 tbsp minced chives
- Black pepper, to taste
- Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle (optional)
- Mix the flour, baking powder and sea salt in a mixing bowl. Add the yogurt and mix with a spoon, then use clean hands to bring everything together. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more yogurt, if it's too wet, a bit more flour.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip out the dough. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together (don’t knead it for long – just enough to bring everything together).
- Put the dough into a floured-dusted bowl and cover with a plate or dish towel, then set aside while you prepare the ricotta.
- Rinse the macadamia nuts and place in a high-speed blender. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Add 5 or 6 tablespoons of water and blend on high until it forms a thick paste, scraping down the sides as needed. A more water one tablespoon at a time, until you reach a creamy, ricotta-like consistency. Taste and adjust by adding more salt or lemon juice as necessary. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
- Make sure your zucchinis are sliced, your chives finely chopped and your ricotta ready to go.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour, then divide the dough in half. With your hands, pat and flatten the dough to shape each piece into ovals of roughly 3-4mm thick (alternatively, you could use a rolling pin).
- Use a knife to cut 5-6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving space at each end.
- Turn the broiler of your oven on.
- Heat a large cast iron with a bit of oil over medium-high heat. Add the dough and cook for about 2 minutes (depending on the size of your skillet, cook the two pieces together or one at a time). The bottom should be golden brown and the dough puffed up.
- Flip on the other side. Then, spread a generous portion of the ricotta on top of the cooked side, cover completely with zucchini slices and sprinkle with about one tablespoon of chives. Season with black pepper.
- Then transfer the cast iron into the oven and cook for 1-2 more minutes under the broiler, checking often. The flatbread is ready when the zucchini is cooked, the ricotta slightly melted and the edges browned.
- Let cool slightly and slice. To serve, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with more chives. Enjoy!
If you like this recipe, feel free to pin it to Pinterest. If you make it, make sure to tag your photos with #thegreenlifeblog on Instagram so I can see!