“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”
– Roald Dahl
EASY OLIVE + HERB GRILLED FLATBREADS
I feel like a bit of a cheat right now. I’m about to tell you to put baking powder in a bread recipe, to use canned chickpea water to make hummus and use the leftover oil from store bought marinated olives to coat your grilled vegetables. These may not be top chef tricks but they sure to help things here in my kitchen. This flatbread recipe is so easy and delicious, you can make it in 20 minutes total. That’s it. And while the grill is hot why not throw some vegetables on there too! This is really simple bbq fare for summer entertaining or easy date nights.
I like to serve the flatbreads with dips and vegetables and a big green salad from the garden and let everyone take what they want. Fresh tomatoes and marinated olives add nice color and texture. Use whatever dips and vegetables you like. This is my favorite combination – warm flatbreads, grilled zucchini and peppers, no-brainer hummus, juicy cherry tomatoes and marinated mixed olives. Some marinated feta would be nice as well. Get the recipes below. You guys, these are the summer meals I live for.
Makes 6 large breads. Adapted from Jamie Oliver.
2 + 1/2 cups light spelt flour*
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 + 1/3 cup all natural yogurt of choice (plant based or other, as long as it’s natural + unsweetened)
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
Olive oil for brushing
Flaky sea salt to finish
*Light spelt flour is my go-to all purpose flour. It’s definitely processed and not as nutritious as wholegrain flour, but it really does the trick when you are looking for a specific texture. I will use it when making breads or buns. I tried using whole grain spelt here but it just, well – fell flat. If you can’t find light spelt flour I would imagine that unbleached all purpose flour will work just as well! Let me know!
Preheat your bbq or grill to medium-high (400°F / 200°C)
Combine flour, sea salt, thyme and oregano in a large mixing bowl, for things like this I always use my hands. Add in yogurt and olives, and mix until the dough comes togethers, picking up any flour bits on the bottom. Continue kneading the dough in the bowl for about a minute, then cover with a plate or dish towel and set aside to rest. Lightly flour a large cutting board and set aside. Gather other equipment – rolling pin, small knife, olive oil + brush, flaky sea salt, tongs or spatula for the bbq.
Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide in half. Divide each half into three equals pieces. Lightly flour your hands, grab a piece of dough and form into a ball. Roll the ball in flour and set aside. Repeat for remaining dough. Now flour your work surface and the rolling pin, and roll each ball out into an oval shape. Place on floured cutting board and repeat for remaining dough. Don’t be scared to throw some extra flour on there if things get sticky. Using a small knife, make cut 3-4 small lines into the center of each flatbread, leaving lots of room around the edges.
Place flatbreads on hot grill or bbq. Transferring quickly and as efficiently as you can. Then close the lid and cook for 2 minutes, flip using tongs or spatula, and cook for another 2 minutes. Flatbreads should be a little charred and puffed up. Remove from grill, brush with olive and sprinkle with sea salt. Best when served right away, but can be reheated the following day or frozen for later. Serve with grilled vegetables and your favorite dips.
No Brainer Hummus
The hummus scene here is a little lack luster. If there is one thing I miss about living in the big city it would have the be the fantastic selection of specialty grocery stores. When we lived in Montreal we were just a quick walk away from a great middle eastern grocer with some of the best hummus in town. This quick and easy recipe is as close as I have come to that particular taste and texture, luckily for everyone it takes less than 5 minutes to make.
I don’t use olive oil, I find it really affects the smooth texture of the hummus once set in the fridge. Instead I use chickpea cooking water, or aquafaba as it is famously known these days. It gives the hummus and nice, light consistency and really helps build flavor. You can cook your own chickpeas or use canned ones. To save time I used canned ones, organic if possible, since I use the liquid as well. Read the ingredients and make sure there is nothing you don’t recognize on the label. Chickpeas and water. Sometimes salt or I’ve seen kombu seaweed in some organic brands. Just strain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid. Adjust salt levels as needed, I always add it in at the very end since some aquafaba’s can be saltier than others.
1 + 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 clove garlic
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup chickpea cooking water (aquafaba)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Place garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini and cracked black pepper. With the motor running add in the aquafaba. Mix until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt. Add an extra tablespoon or two of water or aqua faba is needed. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 days.
I love olives. Sometimes I marinate my own, but most of the time I just buy them at the store. We are lucky to have a great little gourmet foods shop here in town with some really delicious, quality olives. I always use the olive marinade for something – don’t let that salty goodness go the waste! Here I used it on the grilled vegetables, but if you don’t like olives just follow the ingredients below and adjust to your liking.
1 medium zucchini
1 large red pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons dried herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc.)
Pinch of salt and pepper
Thinly slice zucchini into long strips. Slice pepper into 4 large pieces. I try to keep the pepper in bigger pieces so they don’t fall through the cracks or the grill, then I slice a little thinner afterwards. Toss sliced vegetables in olive oil and herbs and season. Place on hot grill and cook for 6-8 minutes, then flip and grill for another 5 minutes. Cooking time will depend on size of vegetables, but you want them to be soft and bar marked but not falling apart. Pepper might take a little longer than zucchini. Keep the grill hot for your flatbreads!
Make a big platter and your favorite green salad and let people dig in!
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!