One of the best parts about spring is planning a meal around vegetables. In colder weather, we look for hearty comfort fare, but now that it is warm outside, salads and other crisp and crunchy fare beckon.
Spring is not all about diet-friendly fare. There’s still room for richness in and among the green produce of the season. Take those grilled and salad-ed vegetables and turn them into a flatbread, and you end up with the best of both worlds.
Weeknight flatbread does, however, require a few shortcuts. First, the dough. Making pizza dough from scratch and baking it will take longer than the allotted 30-minute time window, no matter how much yeast you use. Even dealing with the big blobs of dough now on offer in most grocery store delis can take so much fiddling to roll out that it isn’t practical here. Instead, turn to the vastly improved pre-rolled doughs on the market today. The recipe below was developed using thin-crust dough from the brand Wewalka. Just spread it out on an oiled pan and it is ready to go.
The sauce is the other shortcut ingredient. While pesto is, of course, appropriate with all manner of spring vegetables, green harissa adds surprising spice and depth of flavor. Seek it out, or use another herbaceous green sauce in its place.
Sliced asparagus will cook through in about the same amount of time as the crust, so it makes for a fine topping here. And a bit of crumbled feta adds richness and salinity without weighing down the rest of the dish. A quick stint in a very hot oven (Ignore the cooking directions on the pizza dough; it can take much more heat than directed.) is all the flatbread needs to turn perfectly crisp.
On top, add a shower of arugula for a bit more greenery and a drizzle of the best olive oil you’ve got for a final hit of grassy, herbal flavor. Slice and serve the flatbread directly from the cutting board for a dinner that’s as easy as a salad but far more satisfying.
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