.Treat Yourself Flatbread.
Updated: Mar 3, 2020
I don't know about you... But, Valentine's Day is just not really my thing. I appreciate how important it is for many... And, also acknowledge that for many this day serves as a reminder to check in with our partner, to celebrate them, give them gifts, experiences, words of affirmation... etc. But, for me it always feels like too much pressure to create a perfect day, give or get the perfect gift, and the focus shifts away from the simple things...
It's good to be treated well. We all deserve it... But, why reserve that sort of love and dedication for a "holiday"?
While I think the sentiment of Valentine's Day is beautiful, I cannot help but wonder how we might feel if we took a moment to also treat ourselves. Might we be a better partner and friend not just to our significant other but in fact, to ourselves if we used as much effort as we use on Valentine's day to simply love ourselves?
In this culture and generation we use the phrase, "Treat yourself..." a lot.
But, what does that really mean?
Treating ourselves can be different and specific to each one of us... What do we really need and want from this life?
It can be financial, emotional, it can even be physical... It should serve each person and their specific needs uniquely. The only requirement is that it should bring satisfaction and joy. And, while many of us toil away with what to buy, where to go, what to wear, and who to be with on Valentine's Day...
This year, I have decided I just want to treat myself... And, in return my partner will benefit from my self love (and my cooking).
For me "treat yourself" unfolded a little something like this...
"I'm going to cook something really delicious. A little bit luxurious, fairly simple, perhaps a touch unhealthy, unusually expensive, but just down right satisfying... And, I'm pairing it with wine."
Treat yourself...AKA... Another way to love yourself.
As the quote says, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” So, let's do just that.
For years now I have wished my friends and family a "Happy Love Day!", not because I'm anti-Valentine's Day but because I'm pro-love! I'm all in for celebrating and taking time to say "I love you" to the people closest to your heart, as well as sending a little love out into the Universe for those you don't know as well...
But, more recently I've also been focused on taking that "I love you" and turning it back inwards towards myself. Yes, it is powerful and meaningful to hear those 3 words repeated by someone you hold dear... But, it is equally powerful and true to hear those words within your own head.
Love yourself, love your partner, love your appetite... Let's eat.
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*This is a vegetarian recipe. My vegan friends will need to use a non-dairy alternative for the cheese used.
What makes this flatbread a "treat yourself" moment mostly comes down to the ingredients that are used and how little time is spent making it. Less time making = More time enjoying.
In total, you will spend about 40 minutes prepping, creating and cooking the flatbread.
Herbes de Provence, Balsamic vinegar and Gruyere cheese were my splurge for this recipe. Not a major splurge... But, $10.00 for a block of cheese might be considered a little... much.
If you haven't worked with Herbes de Provence, you must. It is a spice blend of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano... Spices that are known to the region of southeast France and this will impart a lot of specific flavor to the dish.
Onion, pear, garlic, mushroom and arugula round out this beautiful flatbread... Easy to find ingredients at your local store.
Let's get to it!
.Treat Yourself Flatbread.
1-2 Flatbreads serves 4-6 people.
1 yellow onion sliced lengthwise
Half a cup of arugula
Shiitake mushrooms sliced lengthwise (remove stems)
1 Anjou pear sliced lengthwise
Garlic cloves sliced (4-5 cloves)
Gruyere cheese (14oz) shredded/grated
Fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
Baking and Spices:
Herbes de Provence
Salt and Pepper
Pre-made Pizza Crusts (I used fire roasted crusts in a square shape)
To begin pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a large sauté pan heat two tablespoons of olive oil to caramelize the sliced onions. Season the onions with 1-2 teaspoons of Herbs de Provence and half a teaspoon of salt. Cook the onions until they have turned golden brown and softened. Then remove from the heat and set aside.
*Place all of your ingredients into separate bowls. This will make the construction of the flatbread much easier.
On a clean cutting board place the flatbread. Start with a thick layer of Gruyere cheese spread evenly from corner to corner.
*Be mindful to leave a half inch of crust on each side to avoid burning the cheese.
In sections of two or three layer the pears. Start from the outside and work towards the middle.Next create a light layer of arugula in the spaces between the pears. Fill in the spaces with slices of mushrooms as well as garlic cloves. If there are still empty spaces add any of the ingredients you have previously used to fill it in.
Next, take the onions and generously layer them over all of the ingredients.
Finish with a light layer of gruyere, parmesan cheese and crushed black pepper.
*I added a pinch of salt and sprinkled it over the top.
When your oven is heated to 400, cook for 15 minutes.
*For a crispy flatbread place the pizza crusts directly onto the oven rack. If you prefer a softer bread place the flatbreads onto large flat baking sheets.
*If you have a pizza peel (it looks like a large flat paddle) sliding the pizzas into the oven is very easy. If you don't have a pizza peel (be very careful and be sure to wear oven mitts) slide the rack out of the oven either entirely or partially and place the flatbreads directly onto the rack. When they are finished cooking slide the rack back out, let them cool for 5 minutes then pick them back up or slide them onto large cutting boards.
To finish this decadent flatbread drizzle aged balsamic vinegar lightly across the flatbreads then cut with a pizza cutter and serve with your favorite glass of wine. Eat this by yourself (it's very easy to do!) or share with with someone you love...
Remember, treat yourself.