Tomato, bocconcini, and basil salad is one of my all-time favourites. Have you had it? Fresh, juicy tomatoes, a little salt and pepper, slices of bocconcini cheese and fresh basil, topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It’s a flavour combination that drives me up the wall (in the best possible way). It’s so simple, yet so, so satisfying.
Today’s post is essentially that classic salad, but on a pizza.
So simple, so easy, and so delicious.
I spent a good while debating on whether calling this a pizza or a flatbread. I realize the two terms are essentially the same, but flatbread has a classier ring to it. While you normally eat pizza in your stretchy pants in front of the tv, a flatbread requires a bit more finesse. A flatbread you serve to guests at a dinner party with canapes and cocktails.
Because this pizza, er, flatbread is so gorgeous, it’s wonderful to serve to guests. They’ll marvel at the pretty colours and flavours and you’ll be thankful for how utterly simple it is to throw together. Slice into bite-sized pieces and this makes a great appetizer.
I was surprised at how wonderfully the bocconcini melted. It doesn’t melt in the classic sense as does, say, mozzarella, but it does thin out and melt into little, rubbery clumps. It keeps it’s gummy texture while softening into little pockets that are great at soaking up all the juices from the pizza.
Make your pizza dough, or buy it pre-made from the grocery store. I’ve included my favourite recipe, but feel free to use whatever recipe is your favourite. People are very specific when it comes to how they like their pizza dough! My recipe yields enough for 2 large pizzas, but you’ll only need 1/2 for this flatbread recipe. You can simply save the other half for a later date (pizza dough freezes surprisingly well!).
Roll the dough out into two equal rectangles. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce on top, and add tomato slices and bocconcini. Tip: use mini bocconcini, as it melts faster. Bake for about 10 minutes until crust is browned and cheese has melted, then sprinkle with some fresh basil and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
And don’t forget that finishing drizzle of balsamic reduction – that sweet but tangy addition really brings the pizza together. If you don’t have balsamic reduction, you can simply use balsamic vinegar.
|Bocconcini, Tomato & Basil Flatbread|| |
- 1⅓ cups warm water
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- Baby bocconcini (about 10 balls), halved
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- Fresh basil, to serve
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to serve
- Balsamic reduction, to serve
- To make dough: Preheat oven to 200°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast has dissolved and mixture is frothy. Add in flour, dried basil, sugar, salt, and olive oil; knead on a low speed for 5-10 minutes until dough has formed. It should be elasticy and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl; cover with aluminum foil, and place bowl in the oven. TURN OVEN OFF. Let the dough rise in the warm oven for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size.
- Divide into two balls of dough, then use one for the remainder of this recipe. (Prepare another pizza with the second ball of dough, or store in the fridge for another night.)
- Divide the half into two equal pieces, and roll out into 7"x10" rectangles. Transfer to a baking pan or a pizza stone.
- Cover each rectangle with a thin layer of pizza sauce. Layer with tomato slices and bocconcini, and bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese has melted and crust has browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes.
- Top with fresh basil, salt, pepper, and a generous drizzle of balsamic reduction.